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The Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF) in Dubai has announced a plan to convert a mosque to the first eco-friendly mosque in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to the Khaleej Times newspaper, the project will cost 25 million UAE dirhams or 6.81 million USD.
The eco-friendly mosque is expected to save about 20 percent of water and power consumption. The normal consumption of water in the mosques is about three liters per person a day while the normal consumption of electricity in the mosques is about 250 kilo watts per square meter a year. Adding to eco-friendly conversion, the mosque would extend to about 9,754.82 square meters (105,000 square feet), making it the largest mosque in Dubai.
After the modifications, the mosque would accommodate about 3,500 worshipers at the same time. The roof of the mosque would be gardened to reduce the sun heat; additionally, it will use the solar energy to heat ablution water. The ablution is an Islamic procedure for washing parts of the body by using water to be prepared for prayer. The recycling plant within the mosque facilities will take the used ablution water for gardening and washroom use. The mosque will be constructed by eco-friendly materials to avoid non-biodegradable waste. It will also use an automatic thermostat to keep cool without wasting energy and will use natural light.
According to the Khaleej Times, Mr. Tayeb Abdulrahman Al Rais, Secretary-General of the AMAF, said: “The construction of the mosque is in line with the UAE leadership’s vision towards the conservation of resources, environment protection, and the adoption of green practices. With the global call for energy conservation, it is essential for developers to take responsibility for creating buildings that comply with green standards. The mosque project complies with best practices in corporate governance, while being transparent and gaining the validation of Awqaf, government and private institutions.”
In the neighboring city, Abu Dhabi’s General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments department approved the plan of an eco-friendly mosque to be built within Saadiyat Island. The design was made by Suhail Mohammed Suleiman, a graduate architecture student at Al-Hosn University. This initiative is not the first in the mosque-building field. In 2008, the Islamic community in Manchester opened Masjid-E-Noor, which was the first partially eco-friendly mosque in the world. The mosque was built with wood from renewable sources. It also possessed solar panels to generate electricity.
In 2010, the Muslim community in Cambridge opened the first fully operated eco-friendly mosque. The mosque was designed by the award-winning architecture company, Marks Barfield, who designed a lot of projects in the UK and in the world, such as London Eye and Kew Treetop Walk.
Additionally, in 2010, eco-friendly mosques were opened in Buyukeceli village, which is in the Mersin province of Turkey. The mosques were opened by the residents of the village to protest having a nuclear plant there. This action was taken to show the government that there are many renewable sources that generate clean energy and are preferable to a nuclear plant.