Abu Dhabi: Masdar City, a sustainability and innovation hub located in Abu Dhabi, has opened its first mosque, named Estidama Mosque, with the goal of transforming all cities into climate change solutions.
The new, 500-square-meter 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 Eng. Mohamed Al Breiki, Masdar City’s executive director of sustainable development.
“We see this is 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,” Mr. Al Breiki added.
Masdar City designed the 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 minimize the need for energy-intensive cooling.
Skylights on the roof are compact, and traditional Arabic screens maximize natural light while minimizing heat generated by the 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, which are 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 gray water to be used for the irrigation of plants in the garden surrounding the mosque.
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. Several other net-zero energy projects are under construction in Masdar City.