Saudi delegate meets Islamic Minister regarding mosque opening

Islamic Minister Dr. Ahmed Zahir met with Saudi Arabian delegate, the Under Secretary of Saudi Arabia's Islamic Ministry, Awwad Sabthi Alenezi on Tuesday.

The special representative from Saudi Arabia is currently visiting the Maldives for discussions regarding the opening of Saudi Arabia-funded King Salman Mosque in capital Male'. During Tuesday's meeting with the Islamic Minister, officials from both countries discussed opening the mosque next Ramadan.

The representative visited the mosque site and inquired regarding additional materials needed for completion of the mosque. An official from the Islamic Ministry said the delegate gave assurance that the Saudi Arabian government would assist in procuring the required materials 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.