Dh20-million green mosque opens in Dubai

Dh20-million green mosque opens in Dubai

Renewable energy solutions have been incorporated into the design of the mosque, which is the brainchild of Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation.

Published: Sun 20 Jul 2014, 12:43 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:45 PM

The Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF) on Friday opened the Islamic world’s first eco-friendly mosque — Khalifa Al Tajer — to worshippers.

The 105,000sqft Khalifa Al Tajer mosque at the Port Saeed area in Dubaiopened to worshippers on Friday. — KT photo by M. Sajjad

Located at the Port Saeed area in Dubai, the 105,000 square feet mosque has the capacity to accommodate 3,500 worshippers over a built-up area of 45,000sqft.

Tayeb Al Rais, Secretary General of the AMAF, said environmental consciousness is a key pillar of Islam stressed in the Holy Quran. “We hope the mosque reminds worshippers of their duties towards the environment.”

Integrated with the latest standards of green buildings, the mosque aims to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for conformance to the sustainability requirements of the US Green Building Council (USGBC), he added.

“The Dh20 million eco-mosque, donated by Emirati philanthropist Khalifa Al Tajer, integrates cutting-edge green technologies, including sensor-operated water mixers to reduce consumption and moderate water flow while the used water is recycled for irrigation purposes.”

Al Rais said renewable energy solutions have been incorporated into the design of the mosque, which is the brainchild of his foundation. “The exterior lighting poles are fitted with solar panels, green battery storage system, and the use of solar panels instead of energy draining electric heaters for heating water.”

Al Rais told Khaleej Times that there is no single electric switch in the mosque for lights or air conditioners. The sensor-based control system automatically turns the lights and AC on and even increases or decreases intensity to correspond with prayer times and the number of the people present.

“Apart from the energy-saving LED lights being used, daylight sensors are everywhere, and a smart climate control system regulates the air-conditioning units according to prayer times and the number of worshippers,” he said. The big part of the two-section mosque is closed through the week, and to save power opened only during the Friday sermon, Taraweeh prayers, and other special occasions.

Latest techniques of thermal insulation have been used in the materials of the roofs and exterior walls to reduce heat transfer while the three-layer, double-glazing, and big windows with metal coating minimise the intensity of solar radiation into the mosque, he elaborated. “Technologically advanced equipment is also fitted for improving indoor air quality and the performance of the air-conditioning system.”

Al Rais indicated that the simple Bedouin Emirati architecture instead of Othmani-Turkish design has reduced costs by Dh40 million.

Dr Hamad Al Shaibani, Director-General of the Dubai Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities (DDIACA) told Khaleej Times that all mosques to be built in Dubai in the future will be environment friendly. “We want to set an example. Eco-mosques save water consumption by 20 per cent and electricity by 25 per cent.”

Indicating that his department is to manage the mosque affairs, Dr Shaibani said green buildings standards have been adopted in all the facilities of the mosque. “These include the two-floor mosque including the 600-worshipper women hall, the houses of the imam, Muazen and cleaning worker, the 25m long minaret, and the ablution area.”

Marwan Abu Ismael of Siwa Oasis, the landscape company of the Green Mosque project, told Khaleej Times that the local plants have been carefully chosen for the water treatment process. “The 200-gallon amount used for ablution is exactly the same consumed by our plants.”

Dr Qutb Abdulhameed, adviser to DDIACA, and also imam of the Green Mosque, said the eco-mosque does have a positive impact on worshippers. “The mosque shall be internationally certified as the first green mosque in the world soon.”

Wishing all mosques to be green, Mohammed Al Kamzari, Emirati, considered the mosque an exceptional achievement in Dubai and the UAE. “The area is a critical addition to the busy area of Port Saeed.”


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