Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque AD
Aerial view of Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani

Dubai: The spectacular structure of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi has captivated the hearts of international visitors, who ranked it as the third greatest landmark in the world.

The top ten list was announced as part of TripAdvisor’s ‘Travellers Choice Awards’. This year’s awards recognised 759 landmarks across 68 countries and eight regions across the globe.

Cambodia’s Angor Wat and Spain’s Plaza de Espana took in first and second place, respectively.

Angkor Wat Temple at sunset, Siem reap, Cambodia. Image Credit: Supplied
Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain
Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain. Image Credit: Pixabay

According to TripAdvisor, a global travel and booking online platform, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is "by far the youngest world landmark" on the top ten list, adding that the mosque "holds its own against more established icons."

Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings from TripAdvisor travellers, gathered over 12 months.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi attracts visitors all year round, and in Ramadan 2019, received more than 1.4 million worshippers.

A man reads the Quran at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/ GN Archives

On its website, Abu Tourism said the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder of the UAE, was to incorporate architectural styles from different Muslim civilizations “and celebrate cultural diversity by creating a haven that is truly diverse and inspirational in its foundation.”

The mosque’s architects were British, Italian and Emirati, who took their inspiration from Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan, and Egypt among other Islamic countries. The architectural marvel was also designed to hold a capacity of 40,000 worshippers and visitors when filled.

“The open-door policy invites tourists from all around the world to witness the spectacular onion-top domes, the reflective pools that engulf the courtyard and the iconic prayer hall, which not only overflows with blissful sunlight, but also houses the world’s biggest chandelier and carpet, both meticulously handmade,” said Abu Dhabi Tourism.

Top 10 landmarks

  1. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
  2. Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain
  3. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  4. St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Italy
  5. Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain
  6. Taj Mahal, Agra, India
  7. Duomo di Milano, Milan, Italy
  8. Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, California
  9. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
  10. Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest, Hungary

Source: TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice Awards