New mosque rules in Abu Dhabi unveiled

New mosque rules in Abu Dhabi unveiled
New mosque rules in Abu Dhabi unveiled

The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) today unveiled new Abu Dhabi Mosque Development Regulations (ADMDR) aimed at providing best practice standards and guidelines for the planning, design and operation of mosques across the Emirate.

The regulations acknowledge the central role of mosques and will ensure that they are the right type and size, with ease of access for all citizens – and that they are of the highest quality in terms of building, landscaping and their future operation and maintenance.

Falah Al Ahbabi, UPC General Manager and Chairman of the Mosque Development Committee (MDC), commented, “Mosques are at the heart of the Emirate’s culture and Islamic identity and mosque regulations have been created to address the planning, design and operation of mosques across the Emirate. The key objectives of the regulations are to optimise the distribution of mosques and enhance their role within communities, encourage innovative design while preserving Emirati architectural heritage and to ensure that mosques are built, operated and maintained to the highest international standards.”

Divided into three volumes, the Mosque Development Regulations cover all aspects of the planning, design, and operation of mosques across Abu Dhabi. They are also supplemented by a comprehensive user guide which comprises a user-friendly checklist to assist implementation, in addition to appendices on Estidama, Architectural Prototypes and a Vernacular Study, which was completed to inform the regulations.

The regulations have been developed as an essential tool kit for a range of stakeholders involved in the development of mosques, including donors, designers, contractors, architects, engineers, Estidama PRS Professionals, municipalities and consultants. Furthermore, the new regulations require the use of an Integrated Development Process (IDP) to ensure that all stakeholders work together effectively.

The regulations encourage the preservation of local heritage by promoting both traditional and contemporary interpretations of Emirati mosque designs as well as the use of local materials, colour palettes and patterns in a modern way. Architects and engineers are also encouraged to use sustainable approaches that have been tried and tested for generations, such as natural ventilation and lighting. Additionally, Estidama requirements are embedded in the regulations so that a pathway for a “2 pearl” rating mosque is achieved simultaneously.

Falah Al Ahbabi added, “Mosques are important public facilities that play a crucial role in everyday life in Abu Dhabi. The adherence to the Mosque Development Committee regulations will not only define the urban character of the city but will also preserve Abu Dhabi’s Emirati, Arab and Islamic identity. Owing to the population growth and urban expansion witnessed by the Emirate recently, the importance of planning, locating and developing mosques based on community needs has gained paramount importance and the unveiled MDC regulations are a concrete step in that direction.”

Through the implementation of the ADMDR, mosques are anticipated to be located within walking distance of all residents. Aligned with the UPC’s Complete Sustainable Communities (CSC) overarching principles, the ADMDR encourages appropriate collocation of facilities to ensure mosques remain at the heart of community life. As the regulations and standards are enforced and the ADMDR utilised, so Abu Dhabi Emirate’s urban environment will develop into a benchmark for other cities in the region for leading mosque development regulations and implementation.The Abu Dhabi Mosque Development Regulations (ADMDR) apply to all new mosques and shall be used for refurbishment or reconstruction of existing mosques in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. – KhaleejNews