April 23, 2024

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Masdar City opens its first mosque with focus on community and environment

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Masdar City, an Abu Dhabi-based sustainability and innovation hub dedicated to making all cities a solution to climate change, has inaugurated their first mosque, called Estidama Mosque.

The new, 500-square metre domed structure, located in Masdar Park, adheres to the highest international sustainability standards and can accommodate 335 worshippers for each of the five daily prayers.

“Estidama Mosque is a powerful symbol of our commitment to our community, our faith, and responsible stewardship of the earth,” said Mohamed Al Breiki, Masdar City’s Executive Director of Sustainable Development. “We see this as so much more than a house of worship—it’s a community gathering place in the heart of our city where worshippers can look forward to a journey that is both environmentally conscious and spiritually profound.”

Masdar City designed Estidama Mosque in collaboration with X-Architects with a focus on passive design, an approach they champion across the city. It is an architectural technique that works with the local environment and a building’s physical components to minimise the need for energy-intensive cooling.

Skylights on the roof are compact, and traditional Arabic screens maximise natural light while minimising heat generated by direct sun. The building also has a low surface-area-to-volume ratio, an airtight building envelope, and high-performance insulation.

Additionally, the primary pathways to the building and the courtyard are shaded by trees, and intelligent sensors within the building enable precise management of lighting and ventilation based on building occupancy. All of these features work together to reduce the need for cooling.

In total, the mosque will use over 50 percent less energy than a traditional mosque building. Solar photovoltaic panels, installed on the nearby car parking shades, produce a portion of the building’s remaining energy requirements.

The mosque also conserves about 48 percent of its water. A water treatment unit allows grey water to be used to irrigate plants in the mosque’s garden.

“We’re proud of the fact that this unique design is on track to be Abu Dhabi’s first LEED Platinum mosque,” added Al Breiki. “Our designs meet all the requirements for both LEED Platinum and Estidama 3-Pearl, and we anticipate receiving the certifications later this year.”

LEED Platinum is the highest international standard for green buildings, awarded by the US Green Buildings Council. Estidama 3-Pearl is a rating awarded by the UAE’s Estidama Pearl Rating System, which is designed for the UAE’s physical environment and focuses on water conservation.

Masdar City’s second mosque, a much larger, net-zero energy building that will accommodate 1,300 worshippers, was announced during COP28 and is expected to break ground in 2024.

Al Breiki as well as Ahmed Baghoum, Masdar City’s CEO, participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the mosque alongside senior leaders from Masdar City’s shareholder, the Mubadala Investment Company: Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy CEO and Chief Corporate and Human Capital Officer; Dr. Bakheet Al Katheeri, CEO of Mubadala’s UAE investments platform; and Khalifa Al Romaithi, Executive Director of UAE real estate, alongside Anwar Al Hanaei, Director at the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments.

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