Abu Dhabi: The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre (SZGMC) in Abu Dhabi received 3,334,757 visitors in the first half of 2023, a 127 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
The visitors comprised 914,195 worshippers, and some 2,388,437 tourists, of which 1,684,409 visited the mosque and 704,028 visitors to the mosque's visitor centre and market, a testament to the success of the mosque’s excellence in providing the best services to worshipers and visitors and ensuring exceptional and diverse experiences. Meanwhile, the mosque's jogging track accommodated 32,125 people during H1 2023.
Domestic visitors accounted for 19 percent of the total, and international visitors for 81 percent, reflecting the mosque’s significant status as one of the world's top tourist attractions, as it draws millions of visitors annually.
The mosque's library welcomed 1,104 visitors, while the number of vehicles transporting visitors to the mosque totalled 757,026.
These figures further reinforce the mosque's global achievements, which was ranked first in the region and fourth in the "Top Attractions" subcategory of TripAdvisor's 'Travelers’ Choice Awards for 2022: the Best of the Best Destinations' list. It also came in ninth globally in the awards' "Top Cultural & Historical Tours" subcategory category.
In the first half of this year, there were 648 official delegation bookings, comprising 10,979 individuals. The mosque welcomed 167 high-level delegations, including visits from ten heads of state, three deputy heads of state, two prime ministers, six parliament heads, 36 ministers, four deputy ministers, and 19 ambassadors and consuls-general, as well as 87 visits from various official foreign delegations.
The mosque's cultural tours play a key role in promoting its message of tolerance, inspired by the true teachings of the Islamic religion. Cultural tour specialists at the mosque conducted 2,637 cultural tours, attracting 37,402 visitors from around the world.
The mosque also enhanced its cultural role by showcasing Islamic culture and introducing visitors to local cultural heritage, through a range of religious and cultural programmes presented in a unique and innovative manner. These programmes attracted more than 1,365 visitors during H1 2023, including the Jusoor programme, and several others.
On April 21, 2023, the mosque witnessed the highest number of worshipers recorded in a single day, a staggering total of 63,919 individuals performing prayers.
With regards to Friday prayers stats, the highest number of worshipers was 12,176 individuals, recorded on June 30, 2023.
In terms of visitors, April 22, the second day of Eid Al Fitr, witnessed the highest number of visitors, with 33,682 individuals. The lowest number of visitors on a single day was 5,410, recorded on June 21.
Regarding visitors’ countries of origin, India ranked first with 393,566, followed by Russia with 130,023, China with 99,277, the US with 92,364, Germany with 76,857, Italy with 61,330, France with 53,996, Israel with 53,974, Pakistan with 47,640 and the UK with 45,790 visitors.
Ramadan in Numbers
During the Holy Month of Ramadan 1444 A.H., the centre witnessed an unprecedented influx of worshipers and tourists with a total of 852,714, who visited the mosque during the Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr holidays.
The number of worshipers who performed prayers at the mosque during Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr reached 452,047, including 122,449 for the evening and Taraweeh prayers and 180,896 for Tahajjud prayers.