Friday prayers in Dubai: 766 mosques to host worshippers
The decision came after authorities put in place a set of procedures to be followed by worshippers.
With mosques in the UAE all set to resume Friday prayers at 30 per cent capacity from December 4, Dubai has allocated 60 extra mosques to host worshippers.
The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) in Dubai on Monday announced that it will reopen 766 mosques for Friday prayers, in line with the directives issued by Dubai's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management. The decision came after putting in place a set of procedures to be followed by worshippers.
“The suspension of Friday prayers and sermons has been lifted for 766 mosques in Dubai that will now follow strict Covid safety precautions such as seeing to it that worshippers adhere to social distancing and hygiene measures and wear masks.
"In order to accommodate more worshippers, we have also allowed Friday prayers to be conducted in 60 other mosques that were previously only meant for the five daily prayers,” Dr Hamad Al Sheikh Ahmed Al Shaibani, Director-General of the IACAD, said.
He stressed that the IACAD has worked on updating the list of precautionary measures.
Dr Hamid added that Friday’s sermon and prayer combined should not exceed 10 minutes, as underlined by the UAE authorities last week.
“Mosque workers and volunteers will be stationed at different mosques to organise the entry and exit of worshippers,” he said, adding that all worshippers must wear face masks and bring their own prayer rugs, which must not be left inside the mosques or shared with others.
If the space inside the mosque gets full, volunteers will direct the worshippers to use the external squares of the mosque such as the outer courtyards. A safe distance of two metres will be ensured between worshippers.
The IACAD emphasised the need to follow the safety instructions for the prayers, which include preventing the distribution of food and water in the mosques.
Guidelines for worshippers
On November 24, Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesperson of the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), had announced that mosques across the UAE will reopen for worshippers 30 minutes before the Friday prayer and will close 30 minutes later. The announcement was made during a media briefing held by the UAE Government to outline the latest developments regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Among the safety guidelines for worshippers, Dr Dhaheri said worshippers were required to wear masks at all times during the Friday prayer, maintain a two-metre distance and carry their own prayer mat.
Toilets, places of ablution and women’s prayer halls at mosques will remain closed.
Authorities have also urged the elderly, children, those suffering from chronic diseases as well as people with weak immunity to pray from home. Mosques located in industrial areas will remain closed until further notice.
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