Dubai, 4 March 2020: The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai (IACAD) supervises the process of building mosques in Dubai. This is part of its vision to be a sustainable and leading destination for Islamic and charitable efforts in building mosques in the emirate of Dubai. There are several ways to serve mosques, such as building, restoring and maintaining them, or by praying, dhikr and dua’a (supplication), as well as conducting lessons in them. All the aforementioned enhance the cultural and social aspects within the community.
Mr. Mohammed Ali Ahmed bin Zayed Al Falasi, Executive Director of the Mosques Affairs Sector, said: “IACAD strives for professionalism in caring for mosques in accordance with global standards and our vision. We adhere to our wise leadership’s directives to achieve excellence according to sound scientific foundations. This helps raise societal Islamic services in the emirate through approved mechanisms and processes in coordination with relevant government entities, which in turn enhance the role and importance of mosques.”
Al Falasi asserted that IACAD, represented by the Mosques Affairs Sector, is performing its supervisory role to undertake mosque constructions in line with designs and standards approved by IACAD, as well as starting their operation. This is part of IACAD’s strategic plan to cooperate with competent authorities to sustain mosques and support their greater role in the lives of individuals and society at large.
Green Spaces for Mosques
Engineer Mohammed Jassim Al Mansouri, Director of the Department of Engineering and Caring For Mosques said that the department builds, sustains and maintains mosques to international standards. This includes securing green spaces for mosques, as well as ensuring an attractive and contemporary architecture. Al Mansouri stated that as many as 394 mosques have areas designated for cultivation, which includes 202 in Deira, 136 in Bur Dubai and 49 in Reef Dubai and Hatta. This is in addition to seven buildings that belong to IACAD, and as many as 19 mosques were constructed last year, with a worth of AED 411,178.
The total number of palm trees in Dubai mosques was 3,598, and the number of trees 4,414, the total green area was 58,967 square meters, while the number of flowers reached 34,198. The total number of shrubs stood at 8,274 and the area of soil coverage was 5,981 square meters. Additionally, the total length of plant fences was 5,955 linear meters, while rock gardens accounted for 18,543 square meters in 2019.
IACAD, represented by the Department of Engineering and Caring For Mosques, worked on afforestation and beautification of 19 mosques in 2019, with automatic irrigation being enabled for said mosques. The afforested area stood at 3,215 square meters, while 248 outdoor vases were used to beautify the facade of 44 mosques, at a cost of AED 27,590 in 2019.
Standards for air conditioning, sound and carpets
IACAD approves the building plan for mosques, as well as their conformity with the mosque-building guide. Based on this, the construction consultant is directed to obtain a building permit from Dubai Municipality. A copy of the permit is delivered to IACAD before construction commences. The Department of Engineering and Caring For Mosques is responsible for ensuring compliance with standards approved by IACAD. These include sound, refrigeration, air-conditioning equipment, carpets, and other related engineering equipment.
IACAD sets standards in order to provide a comfortable environment, by addressing acoustics – this includes internal and external connections to install the devices within the mosque and ensuring they meet IACAD’s specifications. Along with routine maintenance, inefficient sound systems are replaced. In fact, mosques’ audio devices are replaced every 10 years. During 2019, audio devices were installed in 25 mosques at a value of AED 330,545.
Furthermore, IACAD sets conditions based on international specifications and standards in efficiency, security, and safety for installing air conditioners and refrigeration devices. These include supply and installation of flexible air duct joints that are anti-vibration, fire-proof and can withstand a range of temperatures. Electrical wires are, meanwhile, insulated with flexible covers (GI Flexible).
The pipes for the split-air conditioners are obscured to maintain the external appearance of the mosque, in addition to coloring them to match the mosques’ exterior. The supply and installation of soundproofing comes with a minimum of 10-Volt of the air conditioning unit.
IACAD is also keen to use R410A gas in all new mosque air conditioners, since it is environmentally-friendly and ensures sustainability. The PAC unit air conditioners were installed in 25 mosques, at a cost of AED 3,398,983.4, while the split-unit air conditioners were installed in 25 mosques, at AED 432,295.5.
IACAD also pays special attention to health and safety when it comes to carpeting. It lays out specifications, such a three-year warranty on safe carpeting, and a five-year warranty on quality. Additionally, an underlay made of threads and synthetic fibers must be installed under the carpet.
Other requirements state that an aluminum and copper stopper be installed in T-form with a width of 5 cm and a height of 1 cm on all sides of the carpets and columns of mosques where required. The sample must be approved by IACAD’s technical committee. One sample for each 3,000 square meters of carpets installed is tested in local and international laboratories, to ensure they are anti-rot, anti-bacteria and non-combustible. IACAD ensures that the thickness of the carpet is 108 cm at the prostration area, while the thickness of the carpet is 25 cm at the standing area, and that the height of the thread is 14 mm. In 2019, 35 mosques were furnished, with a value of AED 1,270,095.
The carpets are replaced every three years in areas with high population density, such as market and industrial mosques, while this is done every five years in areas where there is low to medium population density such as tourist areas.
Furthermore, energy consumption has also been more efficient in mosques in 2019, saving approximately AED 3 million compared to 2018.
Maintenance of Mosques
The Department of Engineering and Caring For Mosques also handles no-objection requests to build or expand mosques, update their design, or rebuild existing structures. The qibla direction for new or existing facilities is also part of their remit.
As many as 13 mosques were renovated, at a value of AED 4,938,610, while 25 were partially maintained at a value of AED 1,584,213. Up to 17 mosques got interior and exterior painting at a value of AED 2,507,112, while 29 housing units in mosques underwent maintenance, costing AED 204,415.66.
Director of the Department of Engineering and Caring For Mosques confirmed that they provide consultations for mosques sponsors, including those who finance their construction, whether they are individuals, government or private entities. The department also works on mosques’ operations.
The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department supervises mosques in the emirate of Dubai. It provides the highest level of service in the area, in order to enhance the role and importance of mosques.