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 tourist attractions unveiled by Trip Advisor – the world’s biggest travel website.
Macchu Pichu, the 15th Century Inca site in Peru, was at number one.
The spectacular mosque – which drew 4.5million 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 at Petra, Jordan.
Trip Advisor said of the building: “Grand is an understatement. The architecture, the white marble, and the beautifully maintained green gardens are stunning.”
The website’s list is based on reviews from travellers, with the top 25 selected and ranked based on the quantity and quality of reviews submitted to the site over a 12 month period.
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.
Last year Rihanna was asked to leave the site after she posed for a series of photographs against the backdrop of the mosque, wearing a hooded black jumpsuit.
It is thought the provocative singer’s photo shoot was at odds with the “sanctity” of the mosque.