Abu Dhabi introduces Mosque Development Support System
The Mosque Development Committee will soon introduce the unique Mosque Development Support System (MDSS) which is aimed at developing a GIS based information system that assists stakeholders in making informed planning decisions. The Shahama and Bahia region, whose master plan will be unveiled within the next couple of months, will be the first area in the Emirate to implement the new Mosque Development Support System and it will serve as a model example for the new initiative.
The introduction of MDSS is a natural extension of the Mosque Development Committee which was earlier established under Decree #61 2008 for overseeing all new mosque developments. The Mosque Development Committee, which is chaired by Falah Al Ahbabi, is responsible for setting guidelines and standards in close liaison with concerned governmental agencies.
The Committee is also in the process of assessing current conditions in order to make recommendations for mosque classification by conducting an Emirate wide survey for existing mosques. Under the ambit of MDSS, Mosques, in Shahama have been distributed strategically to provide all residents access to various avenues of prayer. The area now primarily features Local, Friday and Town Centre Friday Mosques.
Commenting on the Mosque Development System, Falah Al Ahbabi, Chairman Mosque Development Committee said “The MDSS will not only assist in the planning and distribution of new mosques, but will also improve the role of mosques within the urban fabric while protecting the Emirati identity”. He further reiterated “The establishment of the Mosque Development Committee will ensure an adherence to Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 guidelines, as it is in sync with our underlying objective of preserving Abu Dhabi’s national identity, culture, heritage and its stature as the national capital”.
The distribution strategy for Mosques in the Emirate is in line with the guidelines laid down by the visionary Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, which is shaping the urban structure framework plan for the city. Plan 2030 acknowledges prayer where religious tenets are strong and deeply observed. The Plan aims at not only establishing contemporary provisions and structures that modern people expect but also discerns the forms and patterns that are unique to Islamic society.
The management of Mosques will be one of the key milestones to be achieved by the new Mosque Development Committee. Empowering the General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments control over all mosques in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to ensure efficient management and operation will be one of the key objectives for the constitutional management of the Mosques. A public campaign in coordination with the Civil Defence, Environment Agency, Health Authority and the Department of Municipal Affairs for the development of Mosques in Abu Dhabi would also be launched.
Formulation of an effective strategy for the cleaning and maintenance of all mosques and the development of policies to support the General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments’ new mandate to manage all mosques in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, are also some of the key responsibilities specified for the Mosque Development Committee, which is working in close liaison with the Abu Dhabi General Services Company (Musanada).
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