Flush with a new budget, the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has announced plans to spend some $120 million building several three and four-story mosques in densely populated areas around the nation in 2013, Qatar Tribune reports.
Previously, an Awqaf official explained that the rationale behind multiple-story, elevator-equipped mosques in crowded areas “is to avoid people having to pray on streets and pavements near the mosques, especially on Fridays.”
As the population grows, so does the number of worshippers, Mohammed al Kuwari, the ministry’s director of Mosque Affairs said during a weekend press conference. In addition to building new structures to meet demand, Awqaf will also oversee the expansion and/or maintenance of hundreds of existing mosques, he added.
Qatar Tribune reports:
Kuwari said the ministry was responsible for maintenance and cleaning of 1,192 mosques out of 1,800 mosques in the country, adding that the government has allocated a huge budget for the maintenance of places of worship of God and Islamic centres.
“The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs is conducting a comprehensive study to determine the current and future needs of the mosques, their maintenance and other services in the light of the increase in the population,” Kuwari said.
Qatar has been building new prayer structures at a rapid pace.
Just this month, Ashghal handed over three new mosques, costing $3.5 million each, to the ministry. Two were built in Wakrah and one, in the Industrial Area.
Meanwhile, Qatar has also said it plans to demolish some 170 privately owned mosques in poor condition, the Peninsula reports.
Credit: Photo by Alexander Sehmer
Note: This article previously incorrectly said Awqaf will spend $1.2 million building new mosques. It has been corrected to reflect that the figure is actually $120 million.