Artist's impression of the world's first underwater mosque to be built in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai is set to introduce the world’s first floating mosque with an estimated cost of approximately Dh55 million.

The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai has announced the ambitious Religious Tourism Project designed to bolster Islamic tourism in the emirate.

Scheduled for completion in 2024, the innovative structure comprises three floors, each serving a unique purpose. The first floor is an underwater prayer area, the second floor is a versatile multi purpose hall, and the third floor houses an Islamic exhibition. With the capacity to accommodate between 50 to 75 worshippers, this remarkable project promises to be a beacon of spiritual tranquillity and cultural enrichment.

Additionally, the mosque will host a Quranic exhibition chronicling the journey of Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Quran from its inception to the distribution of the latest copies worldwide.

Artist's impression of the world's first underwater mosque to be built in Dubai

Landmark project

The landmark project was announced during a press conference at the Department’s headquarters, attended by distinguished officials, including Dr Hamad Al Sheikh Ahmed Al Shaibani, Director General of the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai, and other prominent figures from various departments.

Ahmed Khalfan Al Mansouri, Cultural Communication Consultant at the Department, said: “The UAE has global tourism potential, and we believe in the concept of humanity as a higher and more comprehensive concept than all other concepts prevailing in our time.”

He highlighted the role of tourism as a cultural bridge and a vital attraction for visitors and investors, emphasising the UAE’s reputation for safety, hospitality, and embracing diversity.

Religious tourism

The “Religious Tourism Project in Dubai” aims to promote Dubai’s status as a global religious tourism hub, welcoming visitors of all backgrounds. It aligns with the goal of positioning Dubai as the world’s most visited city by 2025, as outlined in the Dubai 2025 strategy.

Dr Abdullah Ibrahim Abdul Jabbar, Head of Religious Tourism Initiative, said that the project encompasses a series of initiatives, including the Dubai Iftar, a unique gathering of religious representatives, and visits to historic, new, and distinguished mosques. It also features social, sports, and educational programs within the “Hala Ramadan” initiative, fostering unity and cultural exchange.

Quranic garden

He also touched upon aspects of the Quranic garden, a special section dedicated to the Prophet’s medicine, and festive markets located near major mosques and department centers, offering both Muslim and non-Muslim tourists a glimpse into Emirati traditions during festivities while promoting cultural exchange and joyous celebrations. Accompanying programs will include fatwas, consultations, and more, making Dubai an attractive destination for both Muslim and non-Muslim tourists.

With this monumental project, Dubai will enhance its global footprint, expecting a surge of 3 per cent to 4 per cent in tourist visits, further fostering cultural integration and mutual understanding.