Dubai Creek Harbour Mosque

Dubai Creek Harbour, UAE

TYPE Conceptual/Competition

Location Dubai, UAE

Marin Architects reimagined traditional mosque design for Emaar Properties' "Iconic Mosque" competition.

The proposed mosque is located on the banks of the Dubai Creek, the new icon of Dubai and home to a new waterfront destination development and the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. The site is located opposite from the Dubai Creek Tower.
Dubai’s skyline – already iconic, but continuously evolving – will change drastically once more with the completion of the Dubai Creek Tower in 2020. While the mosque surely won’t be able to compete with its taller neighbors, it has the potential to become an icon of Dubai’s future nonetheless.

Mosques have been designed more or less the same way for thousands of years; the design is aimed to take a new, contemporary approach to traditional mosque design. Taking the traditional dome and minaret, the design, with its gradual layering and elevation changes, is intended to resemble the formation and shape of sand dunes, which are typical of the region. The dunes, which are formed when the wind blows loose sand, grow as the sand accumulates to form different shapes and sizes, including the rare dome dune.

The approach to the site and its entrance are designed to feel like an extension of the surroundings, as the structure rises from the surface. It was designed to feel cohesive with and complimentary to the nearby Dubai Creek Tower, rather than compete with it. Exterior walkways are incorporated to allow the site to be easily passed through between the tower and the wildlife sanctuary, rather than creating a blockade.

The design incorporates a large interior space for 7,500 worshippers, including a separate praying terrace for women; separate entrances for men and women are provided. An exterior area in the courtyard can also be used as prayer space for an additional 2,000 people, in lieu of an open prayer area on the roof.

Both the interior and exterior of the building bring to mind feelings of tranquility, sanctuary, and peacefulness, with elements that also create a contemporary environment. The cubical design creates a confluence of positive and negative spaces, both inside and out.

The building is designed to provide substantial indirect natural lighting via skylights. The natural stone façade (marble) will also allow light into the space, creating an ethereal glowing effect from the inside that will give worshippers the sense of being in a heavenly space.

Given its geographic location, it is important that the building is also designed for energy efficiency and passive climate control; air conditioning would be wasteful and put a great strain on resources. Ample shading will help to reduce building heat gain, and the high ceilings will have naturally integrated ventilation components.

In Islam, water is regarded as life-giving, purifying, and sustaining. Water has been heavily integrated into the design, not only for its symbolic and aesthetic purposes, but to also help naturally cool the building and to eclipse sound from the city outside. Water will flow through the marble screens of the mihrab, giving a sense of tranquility and bringing together the interior and exterior spaces as one.

Overall, the building is in line with the Dubai Creek Tower, however the interior prayer space faces mecca and is designed to be square-shaped to resemble the Holy Ka’bah.