Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s sustainability and innovation hub, will set up the region’s first net-zero energy mosque.

The mosque will break ground in 2024. It’s completion date to be announced in the coming months, Masdar City said.

The 2,349 square-meter structure, with capacity for 1,300 worshippers, will produce at least 100% of the energy it needs over the course of a year using 1,590 m² of on-site PV panels.

The mosque’s total energy requirements were reduced by 35% compared to international baselines using passive design, an architectural approach that responds to environmental conditions, Masdar City said in a statement.

“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,” said Mohamed Al Breiki, the executive director of sustainable development at Masdar City.

“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.” Al Breiki said.

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.

Outdoor colonnades will offer shade from the sun as worshippers transition from the outdoors to the sacred inner space, Masdar City said.

“The rammed earth provides outstanding insulation, helping to keep hot air out and cool air in while also fostering a sense of place and belonging. It’s also cost-effective," Lutz Wilgen, Masdar City’s head of design, said. 

"A series of tiered, operable windows on the ceiling will help inspire wonder and reverence for worshippers while also creating a natural ventilation system that will make air conditioning optional in the winter months,” Wilgen added.

(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)