ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi's iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has been named amongst the world's most talked about attractions by leading travel site, TripAdvisor.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which welcomed 4.685 million visitors and worshippers in 2012, joined a line-up of 16 global attractions to make the list, which also included Sydney Harbour, Australia; The Colosseum in Rome, Italy; The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France; Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa; and Central Park in New York, USA.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, rated number one in Abu Dhabi's' ‘Things To Do' is one of the world's most impressive modern Islamic architectural masterpieces, ranked Abu Dhabi's leading attraction by TripAdvisor users, notching up more than 1,400 top ranked reviews.
“To be included in a list of some of the world's most renowned attractions and to be voted there by our visitors, is significant recognition of both the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque's beauty, the work of everyone involved in promoting it and the appreciation of the culture of Abu Dhabi,” said Yousif Al Obaidli, Director of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center (SZGMC).
The SZGMC offers complimentary guided tours by UAE national professional guides, who lead tours for visitors daily offering insights into the construction of the architecture, its founder, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may Allah rest his soul in peace) and the Islamic culture of the building.
Featuring 82 domes, over a 1,000 columns, 24carat gold gilded chandeliers and the world's largest hand knotted carpet, the mosque's main prayer hall is also dominated by one of the world's largest chandeliers-10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height and weighing 12 tonnes. The mosque was opened for worship and visitors since Eid Al Adha of 2007.
Reflective pools surround the mosque, amplifying its beauty. The striking white and gold colours shining in the sun are transformed at night by a unique lightning system which reflects the phases of the moon.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is open daily to visitors, except on Friday morning, which is for worshippers only. Complimentary one hour guided tours run (Sun-Thurs) at 10am, 11am and 4.30/5pm. Friday times are 4.30/5pm and 7.30 /8pm and on Saturday 10am, 11am, 2pm, 4.30/5pm and 7.30/8pm.