An official opening ceremony of Dushanbe’s Central Cathedral Mosque will be held as soon as a Qatari delegation arrives in Dushanbe, Sulaimon Davlatzoda, the head of the Committee on Religious Affairs under the Government of Tajikistan (CRA) told reporters in Dushanbe. 

“The mosque is completely ready to open but the official opening ceremony has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.  It is the bilateral international project of Tajikistan and Qatar.  According to international practice, the official opening ceremony will take place with the participation of both parties,” Davlatzoda noted.  

Recall, Dushanbe’s Central Cathedral Mosque, which will be Central Asia’s largest mosque, was expected to officially open in August last year. 

This US$100 million project has been implemented under direct control of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.  The Persian Gulf kingdom of Qatar has reportedly put up 70 percent of the cost of the project, with Tajikistan raising the rest.

President Emomali Rahmon began construction of Central Asia’s largest mosque not far from downtown Dushanbe in October 2011, a month after officially raising the country’s flag on a 165-meter flagpole in Dushanbe.

Tajik leader demonstrated a hidden skill when he took control of an excavator to start digging the foundation for the building.

Dushanbe’s Central Cathedral Mosque is located in the area of 12 hectares and in addition to the prayer halls the Mosque also features library, museum and social halls. 

The mosque will be able to accommodate up to 120,000 worshipers.  When completed, Tajikistan will be home to the Central Asian largest mosque, dwarfing the Turkmenbashi mosque in neighboring Turkmenistan, which can hold 10,000 people.

Critics are saying the mosque is an extravagance and that the money would be better spent on poverty reduction.