Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque ranked as the world's second most favored landmark on Trip Advisor's 2017 list of the world's top 25 landmarks, Arabian Business reported on Monday.
The iconic mosque beat "world-renowned landmarks such as St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City (4th); Taj Mahal, India (5th); Peru’s Machu Picchu (8th); the Eiffel Tower (13th) and the Sydney Opera House (25th)," and was only surpassed by Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia which came first on the list.
Burj Khalifa, another Arab landmark, was also featured and ranked 22nd.
In a statement following the news, Ahmed Juma Al Za'abi, deputy minister for presidential affairs and chairman of the board of trustees of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, said: “Achieving second place for two years in a row, as one of most significant architectural monuments in the world, culminates the tremendous efforts and exceptional services the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque offers to visitors from all walks of life.”
The Grand Mosque opened for worship in 2007 and has since become a world-renowned landmark.
It sees visitors from all over the world and according to Yousif Abdullah Alobaidli, director general of the landmark "total visitors in 2016 reached 5,209,801, of which 1,448,394 were worshippers, 2,807,556 visitors, and 872,070 Ramadan Iftar guests."
An iconic landmark
In recent years, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has become a favorite spot among worshipers, tourists and people from all over the world who marvel at its magnificent architecture.
The vision behind the mosque is one that aims to promote tolerance, respect and cultural exchanges between people of all backgrounds.
It's considered one of the most popular photography spots among tourists and thousands of breathtaking images of it circulate on social media.