Dubai, a global hub of innovation and tourism, has unveiled an ambitious project aimed at enhancing its status as a premier destination for religious tourism. The Religious Tourism Project, initiated by the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai (IACAD), sets out a comprehensive plan to promote Islamic tourism through a range of captivating experiences. This strategic endeavor, announced during a press conference at the department’s headquarters, is poised to make Dubai the world’s foremost Islamic and charitable destination by 2025.
Mr. Ahmed Khalfan Al Mansouri, representing IACAD, highlighted the project’s significance, stating that it aims to attract international tourists, both Muslim and non-Muslim, bolstering Dubai’s reputation as a global religious tourism hub. The project’s impact is expected to be substantial, with estimates pointing towards a three to four percent increase in the number of tourists visiting Dubai.
Here are some key elements of the Religious Tourism Project that are set to captivate visitors:
1. The World’s First Floating Mosque
A groundbreaking feature of the project is the construction of the world’s first floating mosque. This awe-inspiring structure will consist of three floors, with one half of the mosque positioned above the water, offering serene sitting areas and a coffee shop. The other half will be submerged beneath the water’s surface, serving as the prayer area complete with ablution and toilet facilities, capable of accommodating 50-75 worshippers. The mosque’s construction comes with an estimated cost of approximately Dh55 million, reflecting Dubai’s commitment to innovation and architectural marvels.
2. The Quranic Exhibition
Another focal point of the Religious Tourism Project is the Quranic exhibition, which will narrate the journey of Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Quran. During the years 2000 to 2005, Sheikh Maktoum printed thousands of copies of the Holy Quran and distributed them worldwide. This exhibition will celebrate his profound contribution to the dissemination of Islamic knowledge and spirituality.
3. Dubai Iftar
During the holy month of Ramadan, Dubai will host a unique and inclusive initiative known as Dubai Iftar. This event will bring together people of different faiths to partake in a communal breaking of the fast. By fostering unity and understanding among diverse communities, Dubai Iftar serves as a powerful symbol of tolerance and acceptance.
4. Hala Ramadan
Under the Hala Ramadan initiative, individuals from various faiths will gather in Dubai’s new neighborhoods for a series of social, sports, and educational programs. This initiative aims to promote cross-cultural interactions and celebrate the essence of Ramadan, which extends beyond religious boundaries.
5. Quranic Park and Prophetic Medicine
Dubai is home to the world’s first Quran-inspired park, the Quranic Park. Encompassing a vast area of 600,000 square meters, this unique park is divided into sections, each designed to serve distinct purposes and interests. Among its attractions are plants and herbs mentioned in the Quran, providing visitors with a deeper connection to Islamic teachings and nature.
6. Ramadan and Eid Market
To promote Islamic customs and traditions, Dubai will introduce Ramadan markets adjacent to popular mosques during the holy month of Ramadan and Eid holidays. These markets will serve as a platform for Muslim and non-Muslim tourists to learn about Islamic practices, fostering greater cultural understanding.
Dubai’s Religious Tourism Project is a testament to the city’s commitment to inclusivity, cultural exchange, and spiritual enrichment. As it unfolds, this initiative is poised to make Dubai a beacon of religious tourism, inviting people from all corners of the world to explore the beauty of Islamic culture and heritage in this vibrant metropolis. With innovative projects like the floating mosque and the Quranic Park, Dubai is redefining religious tourism for the modern age, offering a holistic and enlightening experience for all who visit.