Dubai to build world's first 3D-printed mosque

Mosque in Bur Dubai will welcome 600 worshippers in 2025

An artist's impression of the mosque. Photo: Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai
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Plans to build the world’s first fully functional 3D-printed mosque have been unveiled in Dubai.

The construction of the 2,000-square-metre mosque in Bur Dubai will start in October and the mosque will be ready for 600 worshippers early in 2025.

It will take about four months to complete the 3D printing of the building's structure and a further 12 months to fully fit it out with the appropriate facilities, Dubai’s Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) said.

Three workers will operate the 3D robotic printer which will print two square metres an hour.

Ali Al Suwaidi, director of IACAD's engineering department, said the printer will mix raw materials and a special mix of concrete.

The printing process works by layering a fluid material along a predetermined route mapped out by a computer, similar to an inkjet printer.

The mineral-infused fluids solidify into concrete ­almost instantly to convert the digital model into a three-dimensional object.

Samples of 3D printed structures that will be used for the mosque in Dubai. Ali Al Shouk / The National

“The cost is 30 per cent higher than building the mosque in the normal way because it is the first of its kind in the world,” Mr Al Suwaidi told a press conference on Thursday.

“We expect the cost will be similar in the future with 30 years building guarantee.”

The IACAD is co-ordinating with Dubai Municipality to get final approvals on the design.

The mosque marks the latest step in Dubai’s 3D Printing Strategy, which is a global initiative to harness the technology for the good of humanity and position the city as a leader in the field by 2030.

Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General of IACAD, said Dubai is a pioneer in using 3D printing technology and sustainability that will reduce carbon footprint.

“Using 3D printing will reduce the construction material wastes. It is friendly to the environment. The mosque represents the vision of our wise leadership,” he said.

In 2015, Dubai unveiled plans to build the world’s first 3D-printed office which was opened outside Emirates Towers in May 2016.

Three years later Dubai built the largest 3D-printed building — a two-storey property in Warsan that became Dubai Municipality's Centre for Innovation.

In August 2021, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, issued a decree to regulate the use of 3D printing in the construction industry in Dubai, to promote the emirate as a regional and global centre for the technology.

The legislation was aimed at ensuring that a quarter of the emirate's buildings are built using the technology by 2030.

Expo 2020 Dubai had a specialised 3D-printing area which included a research centre, an academy and laboratories to help to develop the technology.

Updated: January 13, 2023, 5:39 AM
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