Planning Minister Mohamed Aslam has said the government is seeking reimbursement for the amount the government spent to build King Salman Mosque in Male' City. Aslam made the statement in answer to a question asked by Dhaandhoo MP Yaugoob Abdulla during Tuesday's Parliament sitting.
Yaugoob inquired from the minister regarding speculations that the government spent 80 percent of the cost of building the mosque, despite the mosque being built under a grant assistance by the Saudi Arabian government.
Answering the question, Aslam said although the government had to spend a significant amount for mosque construction, the government is confident that the Saudi Arabian government will reimburse the amount.
'We are confident that the government of Saudi Arabia has every intention of reimbursing us for the costs. The relevant government entities are in discussion with the Saudi Arabian government regarding the matter. We can say with confidence that they will cover the costs. We do not assume it would not be reimbursed; we have full confidence of reimbursement,' Aslam said.
The government is preparing to open the mosque in time for next Ramadan officially. Although the government had attempted to open the mosque on multiple occasions, it was delayed due to unforeseen reasons. Most recently, the government said the opening date was pushed back as senior officials from Saudi Arabia wished to attend the opening ceremony. This plan was complicated by travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The almost-complete mosque stands on the outskirts of Male' city overlooking the Sinamale' Bridge. Spread over a total area of 41500 square feet, the mosque can accommodate 10,000 people simultaneously. Four elevators have been installed at the mosque for easy access. The ground, first and the second floor of the five-story building, are allocated for praying. While the mosque's ground can accommodate 6000 worshipers, 4000 people can simultaneously use the first and second floors of the mosque. The second floor is designated for female worshippers and has a separate entrance with special washrooms for women. The third floor of the mosque has an extensive library and an auditorium. The fourth floor has a part of the auditorium and a lobby, while the fifth floor has a multi-purpose hall.