x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Fujairah mosque replica of Istanbul masterpiece

The name of the architect is a secret, but the new mosque in Fujairah is a close replica of Istanbul's Suleymaniye Mosque.

The name of the architect is a secret, but the new mosque in Fujairah is a close replica of Istanbul's Suleymaniye Mosque, which was designed by Mimar Sinan, a leading Ottoman architect. Built between 1550 and 1558, the Suleymaniye Mosque still dominates the Turkish city.

Mosques based on foreign designs are popular in the UAE, said Dr Ahmed Mokhtar, an associate professor of architecture at the American University of Sharjah.

"The new mosque designs in the UAE typically belong to somewhere else, so it's not strange to have something from a different part of the world," he said. "The designers typically will be coming from outside this region, and historically even the owners will have some kind of Islamic history in mind, and they want to replicate that.

"People build large religious buildings because they stay forever. A mosque will not be demolished. It will always say: 'We were here, we were capable of doing these things'. It talks about the people who built it."