Dubai: Khalifa Al Tajer, claimed to be the first eco-friendly mosque in the Islamic world, was opened to worshippers in Dubai on Friday by the Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF).
The mosque, which can accommodate 3,500 worshippers, is located at the Port Saeed area in Dubai and spans more than 9,754 square metres with a built-up area of around 4,180 square metres.
Tayeb Al Rais, secrtary-general of the AMAF, said the new mosque sets a good example for mosques to be built in the future.
“It is Dubai Municipality’s and the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities responsibility to guide donors who want to build mosques to follow green and eco-friendly standards, and this mosque could set an example of why it is a good move.” Al Rais said.
He said the AMAF was delighted to welcome worshippers the new mosque during Ramadan. “Through this mosque, we hope to inspire many more such eco-friendly initiatives that are in line with Dubai’s vision for a sustainable future.”
Islam puts emphasis on being environmentally consciousness. “We hope the mosque will continue to remind worshippers of their duties towards the environment, of which we are the custodians,” he added.
This is the first mosque to be built by the AMAF, as they built it on behalf of an anonymous sponsor. “We are having discussions with the DMCC [Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority], to build a second green mosque in the JLT [Jumeirah lake towers] area.”
Built with the standards and specifications required for green buildings in mind, the mosque aims to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for conformance to the sustainability requirements of the US Green Building Council (USGBC).
“A team will visit and evaluate the mosque in a year to see if we qualify for the silver certification.” Al Rais said.
The mosque integrates latest green technologies, such adjusting the speed of water flow from taps in the ablution areas and recycling the used water from ablution in washrooms and for plant irrigation.
The exterior lighting poles of the mosque are fitted with solar panels, the battery storage systems are powered by solar energy, and the water heaters also have solar panels.
Energy-saving LED lights are used all over the mosque, and the lights are controlled by a sensor system that automatically switches the lights on during prayer times and if there are people in the pareyer hall, and off if there is no one, as to conserve energy.
There is also a climate control system installed for regulating the air-conditioning units according to prayer times and number of worshippers.
Al Rais led the opening ceremony in the presence of Dr Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General of the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities and senior representatives from AMAF and other government organisations.
Shaikh Salih Al Maghmasi, imam of Al Quba Mosque in Madinah, delivered the inaugural Friday sermon at the mosque.