Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque attracts 1.5 million visitors in first half of year

Holy site provides 2,075 tours to more than 21,000 guests over six-month period

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More than 1.5 million tourists and residents visited Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi during the first six months of the year.

From January to the end of June, a total of 1.52 million people travelled to the mosque, including 454,339 worshippers.

Tourists made up the majority of the footfall at 81 per cent, and people aged 25-35 toured the mosque the most during the six-month period.

Visitors from India lead the rankings in terms of international visits, followed by France and the US.

The cultural tourism specialists at the mosque provided 2,075 tours in Arabic, English, Spanish and Korean, to 21,633 visitors from all over the world.

In addition, 33,000 people used the jogging trail that surrounds the outside of the holy site.

The grand mosque was recently selected among TripAdvisor's 2022 Travellers' Choice Award in the Best of the Best category, which chooses the world's top 25 attractions.

It also came first in the Top Attractions - Middle East category, fourth in the Top Attractions - World category for its unique architecture and ninth in the Top Cultural and Historical Tours - World category.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque highlights the legacy of the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed and commemorates his values, vision, memory, qualities and contributions to humanity.

The mosque has attracted some famous visitors over the years. In 2007, the UK's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, toured the site and in 2010, Queen Elizabeth II visited and paid her respects at the tomb of Sheikh Zayed. Prince Charles made the trip again in 2016.

A rich experience starts in the visitors' centre, which has exhibition halls, an auditorium and a library, and ends at Souq Al Jami, which includes an assortment of shops, entertainment areas and restaurants.

The cultural tours offered by Emirati guides at the centre in Arabic and English are among the most popular experiences at the mosque. Cultural tours in Arabic and English sign language are also available.

The centre is currently working on training its guides to provide tours in Mandarin, Russian, Hebrew, Turkish and French.

Updated: July 29, 2022, 11:05 AM