Saudi rep in Maldives to discuss mosque opening

A representative from Saudi Arabia has arrived in the Maldives to decide on a date on which Saudi Arabian-funded King Salman Mosque will be opened.

During the discussions, the Saudi Arabian government will be represented is the country's Islamic Ministry's Under-Secretary Awwad Sabthi Alenezi. Spokesperson of the President's Office, Mohamed Mabrook Azeez said official discussions will commence on Monday. Although the government had earlier said the Saudi Arabian representative is a member of the Royal family, the spokesperson did not give a confirmation on the matter.

The main topics that will be discussed include settling a date on which the mosque will be opened, and deciding on additional matters that need to be settled before mosque opening.

The government had previously planned to open the mosque in early 2020, and later, in time for this year's Ramadan. However, the government later said the opening of the mosque is being delayed as the mosque is a gift from Saudi Arabia's King Salman Abdul Azeez, and as representatives from Saudi Arabia's government wishes to attend the opening ceremony. As the COVID-19 pandemic hindered international travel, the delegates are unable to travel to the Maldives, the government had said.

Turkish company, Turmaks was contracted to build the mosque on 28 February 2017. The Maldives government said the construction of the six storey mosque cost USD 24.9 million.