“Grand is an understatement. The architecture, the white marble and the beautifully maintained green gardens are stunning.”
Do you fancy visiting the second best tourist attraction in the world? You’re in luck, it’s right here in the UAE. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi has snagged the number two spot in a list of the world’s top 25 landmarks unveiled by Trip Advisor – the world’s biggest travel website.
Angkor Wat in Cambodia is at number one. (Still, need to visit)
The spectacular mosque – which drew 5.3 million visitors last year – ranked above the Taj Mahal, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the Statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio, Brazil, and the World Heritage site of Petra, Jordan.
The mosque, which was completed in 2007, covers an area of more than 30 acres and can accommodate more than 40,000 worshippers.
Over 3,000 workers helped to build the mosque, which drew inspiration from Persian, Mughal and Moorish architecture.
The carpet in the main prayer hall is believed to be the biggest carpet in the world at 60,570sq ft. It took more than a thousand carpet knotters around two years to complete.
The Mosque contains seven chandeliers, each is made up of millions of Swarovski crystals. The largest of these is the second largest in the world, measuring 33ft in diameter and 49ft high.
There are 96 marble pillars in the main prayer hall, each delicately inlaid with mother of pearl. It also contains a Qibla wall, facing Mecca, which has 99 names of Allah inscribed on it.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque features a unique lighting system designed to reflect the phases of the moon. There are 22 light towers which project soft clouds of a ‘bluish grey’ colour on the exterior of the mosque. This light changes according to the moon phase every night.