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Region’s first net-zero energy mosque to be built in UAE

December 5, 2023 at 4:27 pm

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022 [Christopher Pike/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Plans are underway to construct the region’s first net-zero energy mosque in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City, a sustainability and innovation hub, which is part of the UAE’s long term plan to achieve net zero by 2050.

According to the National, the mosque will be able to accommodate 1,300 worshippers and will operate on 100 per cent solar energy.

“We have designed and created several net-zero energy projects but this one has particular significance for us and for me personally – particularly given we’re announcing it during COP28,” Mohamed Al-Breiki, executive director of sustainable development at Masdar City, was quoted as saying.

“It will be more than a gathering place, a community hub or a place of worship. It will take people on a cultural, spiritual and environmental journey, serving as a powerful symbol of our commitment as responsible stewards of the Earth. This mosque is our gift to the community.”

Speaking on the upcoming project, Masdar City’s head of design Lutz Wilgen said: “Touching the earth lightly and helping others do the same is the very heartbeat of Masdar City.”

READ: World to reckon with future of fossil fuels at COP28 climate summit

Gulf News reported that the mosque’s main structure will be made primarily of rammed earth, and a series of tiered windows on the roof will allow the space to be illuminated with cascading natural light patterns.

As with several other projects in Masdar City, at least 70 per cent of construction waste will be diverted from landfill and local and recycled materials will be used wherever possible to reduce both costs and carbon footprint. Low-flow water fixtures, drought-resistant landscaping, and the use of recycled water for irrigation will reduce water use by 55 per cent.

Neighbouring emirate Dubai, which is currently hosting COP28, opened the world’s first eco-mosque in 2014, while in 2019, Cambridge opened Europe’s first eco-mosque, which was built jointly by the Foundation of Muslim Academics and Turkiye’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) Foundation. It leaves a “near-zero carbon footprint.”

READ: COP28 president denies he doesn’t respect climate science