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| 23 May, 2018

Rules set to streamline construction of mosques in Saudi Arabia

The code is important for the design, lifespan and operating costs of the monuments

Construction cranes are seen outside the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia .

Construction cranes are seen outside the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia .

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

JEDDAH - Prince Sultan bin Salman patronized the signing of an agreement on Monday establishing the Mosque Construction Code between the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance and the Abdullatif Al-Fozan Award for Mosque Architecture.

The code is important for the design, lifespan and operating costs of the monuments.

Prince Sultan, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), stressed the importance of establishing the Code, which is considered an important stage in the construction of mosques and the culmination of partnership efforts with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. It aims to develop the design of mosques and improve their architectural quality.

He commended the exceptional support mosque construction and welfare is receiving from King Salman.

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“The code is a main element in the efforts ... to serve the holy monuments. It will consider the cultural and urban aspect of each region. It also sets an outline for mosque architecture concerned with many social, power and urban issues.”

Prince Sultan referred to the symbolism of launching the code from the historic Al-Diriyah region. “Taking care of mosques should be the main responsibility not only of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs but of every Saudi. We are facing a challenge due to the development of social media that preoccupies the youth. This pushes us to work on renewing the youth’s interest in mosques’ construction and welfare.”

Tawfiq Al-Sudairy, deputy minister of Islamic affairs, said: “The mosque we are in today is the fruit of your interest in historic mosques and their reconstruction.

“The code aims to increase the lifespan of mosques while lowering the construction costs. It also aims to rationalize power consumption, lower operating and maintenance costs, approve social and security requirements and the necessities of people with special needs. It also considers the urban state of the neighborhood, city or village where the mosque is located.”

The project was first brought to light by Prince Sultan almost 20 years ago and the Ministry of Islamic Affairs has worked ever since to achieve it according to an agreement signed back then.

The proposed duration for the elaboration of the Mosque Construction Code is 15 months during which various workshops and seminars will be taking place.