Eager to promote the UAE capital city’s Islamic heritage, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has joined hands with the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf) to create enlightening tours of iconic mosques in the emirate.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was formalised by undersecretary, DCT Abu Dhabi, HE Saif Saeed Ghobash and director general, Awqaf, HE Mohammed Saeed Al Neyadi. The agreement will result in the creation of immersive experiences for locals and tourists, as well as bolstered cooperation between the two entities.
DCT Abu Dhabi and Awqaf will now work towards determining the appropriate times for tours at selected mosques in Abu Dhabi, such as Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed the First Mosque, Mariam Umm Eisa Mosque, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan the Second Mosque, Al Radwan Mosque, Al Aziz Mosque and Al Kareem Mosque. The partnership will also result in leaflets about mosques and Islamic culture, the periodic maintenance of mosques, the training of tour guides and the establishment of a mechanism for booking tours through DCT Abu Dhabi’s electronic platforms. Adding to this, DCT Abu Dhabi and Awqaf will work on the marketing of books promoting Islamic culture, which have been published by DCT Abu Dhabi, and the promotion of ethics and tolerance in the community.
The two entities will also appoint Imams and Muezzins for mosques in Al Ain, including Al Khamisani Mosque, Al Jahili Mosque, Al Muwaiji Mosque and Al Mutawa Mosque, as well as the three mosques on Dalma Island.
Ghobash of DCT Abu Dhabi declared: “The MoU with Awqaf strengthens our efforts in the field of tourism promotion and extends it to cover the cultural and intellectual elements at the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The visit of tourists to our iconic mosques will enable them to understand the essence of our religion and its values of tolerance and good morals. It is also a step to explore the architectural diversity of our mosques, including the historic architecture associated with ancient periods. The emirate of Abu Dhabi has an interesting urban landscape, combining several architectural styles, including the traditional and the contemporary.”
Meanwhile, the freshly inked MoU will see the two entities cooperate to identify and regulate the registration of historic and modern heritage mosques; protect modern heritage mosques; and, if a heritage mosque is structurally unsound and can be conserved, Awqaf will identify donors who will support maintenance, conservation and rehabilitation in accordance with DCT Abu Dhabi’s policies.
DCT Abu Dhabi work with Awqaf to protect and reuse Eid prayer grounds and to develop architectural guidelines for new mosques, particularly in the buffer zones of the Al Ain World Heritage Site.
Following this new partnership, a joint committee has been created to ensure that the implementation of the provisions of the MoU run seamlessly. DCT Abu Dhabi will shed light on the details of the mosque tours soon.