'Hope to have King Salman Mosque inaugurated by Crown Prince'

Maldives' Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mohamed Khaleel has said the government hopes to have the 'King Salman Mosque' officially opened by Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohamed Bin Salman.

King Salman Mosque is being constructed in capital city, Male' with a generous donation from Saudi Arabia. The mosque, set to open early next year before the month of Ramadan, will be the largest mosque in the country.

In an interview given to Arab News, Ambassador Khaleel said the mosque will stand as a true symbol of the brotherly relations between Maldives and Saudi Arabia. He also said the mosque will stand as a historical monument to commemorate the golden jubilee of the Maldives' independence. He further said the Maldives' government is looking forward to the completion of the mosque and a visit by the Crown Prince to officially inaugurate the mosque.

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 was being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as representatives from Saudi Arabia's government wished to attend the opening ceremony. As the pandemic hindered international travel, the delegates are unable to travel to the Maldives, which has again delayed the planned opening date, the government had said. A representative from Saudi Arabia recently visited the Maldives to discuss a way forward.

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.