Architectural Design Standards for Muslims Prayer Facilities in Airports

Architectural Design Standards for Muslims Prayer Facilities in Airports

A. Mokhtar

College of Architecture, Art and Design, American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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Increasingly, airports around the world are becoming hubs for the coexistence of different cultures. Therefore, they need to include facilities that can accommodate, as far as possible, the needs of passengers from various backgrounds. Among these are prayer facilities for people of different faiths. This paper focuses on the design and operational requirements for Muslim prayer facilities. Due to the nature of Muslim prayer patterns, airports that expect to serve Muslim passengers need to have prayer facilities of which the design and operating systems are adequate. Such facilities remove the necessity of Muslims having to pray in public areas in airports and performing ablution in public restrooms. If facilities dedicated to Muslim use are unavailable, the performance of these acts in public places may not only render those who perform them unable to concentrate, but also raise the curiosity of others or make them uncomfortable. The paper firstly describes the need for prayer facilities and the pattern of their use. It then defines the architectural and operational requirements, including location in the airport, the components of the prayer space and supporting elements such as ablution stations. The paper functions as a reference for designers and operators of airports particularly in areas with large Muslim populations, such as the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Pacific Rim, Central Asia and Europe.


ablution space design, airports architecture, Muslim prayer facilities


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