Dubai to open Dh55m floating mosque next year

Grand development built on canal will feature underwater prayer hall

Powered by automated translation

Dubai is to open a Dh55m floating mosque next year featuring a prayer hall set under water, authorities said on Thursday.

The place of worship is being developed at Dubai Water Canal by the emirate's Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department.

The authority said the mega project was central to a new religious tourism drive aimed at boosting visitor numbers.

The mosque will be on three floors, with the prayer hall submerged, and will serve between 50 and 75 worshippers.

A number of eye-catching renderings were released on Thursday, offering a glimpse into the future of the attraction.

Ahmed Khalfan Al Mansouri, cultural communication consultant at IACAD, said the mosque was one of a number of projects aimed at attracting tourists to religious sites in Dubai.

“The floating mosque will be an important attraction in the emirate," he said.

"Visitors will walk into the mosque and either pray or see the underwater praying hall."

The two floors set above water will include a hall for Islamic lectures and workshops.

“The mosque will be connected to the land. We are finishing the design, and it will be open to visitors next year,” he added.

People of all faiths will be welcome to visit the mosque but will be asked to dress modestly and act respectively in accordance with Islamic customs.

Women will be asked to wear dress covering their heads and shoulders.

In January, IACAD announced plans to build the world’s first fully functional 3D-printed mosque.

The construction of the 2,000-square-metre mosque in Bur Dubai is to start in October and the mosque is due to 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, the authority said.

Dr Abdullah Abduljabar, who is director of the IACAD's tourism project, told of his vision to share the emirate's mosques with a wider audience.

He said there will be focus on promoting the nation's rich culture during key religious festivals, such as Ramadan and Eid.

“Many historic and modern mosques deserve a visit in the emirate," he said.

"We will organise tours in different mosques to encourage religious tourism.

“The project will benefit from Ramadan and Eid timings to attract visitors.

"It is also a chance for visitors to explore Islamic culture and Emriati traditions."

Updated: September 21, 2023, 12:46 PM