According to the half-yearly statistics issued by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre (SZGMC), the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a symbol of Islam that epitomizes the message of peace, tolerance and diversity, greeted 4,480,000 visitors from 249 nationalities in the first half of the Year of Tolerance.
According to the statistics, there were 967,150 worshippers among the visitors.
The report cited that Asia topped the list with over one million visitors visiting the mosque, ensued by Europe with over 623,000 visitors, North America with 95,000 visitors, Africa with over 53,000 visitors, South America with 49,000 plus visitors, Australia with 25,000 and 2,178 visitors were from Antarctica.
Nationality-wise, the statistics showed that India led the list of the ten nations with a tally of 392,246, followed by China with 335,530, Russia with 116,467, Germany with 102,285, France with 74,606, the United Kingdom, UK, with 63,676, the United States, US, with 60,209, Pakistan with 57,185, Italy with 44,787 and the Philippines with 43,229.
According to the figures, March recorded the highest footprint, with 511,227 visitors.
The statistical report showed from January to June, 82% of the mosque visitors were tourists and 18% were residents. Women were the most frequent visitors to the mosque, totaling to 53% of the total tally.
Most visitors fell into the age group of 46 years and above, forming 31 percent of all visitors.
During the Holy Month of Ramadan, over 890,000 Muslims broke their iftar in the mosque’s air-conditioned tents. Over the first six months of the year, the SZGMC carried out 1,726 free-guided cultural tours. Tours were conducted by official SZGMC Guides who take visitors and other members of the public around the mosque clarifying differing elements of the architecture and Islamic culture.
The impressive Islamic architecture of the mosque has lured many leading local and international media outlets. The SZGMC has received more than 76 requests for coverage from the UAE, the US (CNN and ABC TV channels), Armenia TV, Belgium TV, Channel 7 Australia, Egypt TV, Daily youm7 of Egypt and the UK’s University of Oxford.