Orlando Airport to Open Muslim Prayer Room
Recognizing the needs of Muslim travelers, Florida’s Orlando International Airport has opened an interfaith chapel which Muslims can use to say prayers. The prayer room is seen as a welcoming gesture to Muslims, who are expected to visit the region more frequently.
Orlando International Airport is an international airport that is situated six miles southeast of Orlando, Florida, USA. The Orlando International Airport is the second largest and busiest in Florida (behind Miami International Airport), and is the 14th largest international airport in the United States.
Authorities of the airport decided to implement the interfaith chapel, which serves as a prayer room for Muslim travelers following Emirates Airlines decision to offer non-stop flights between Florida and Dubai from September onwards. The nonstop Emirates service between Florida and Dubai offers a great opportunity for Orlando to boost tourism and business partnerships with the Middle East, Africa and Asia. This is Emirates 10th connection to the United States.
Following Emirates decision to commence non-stop flights, it is expected that the number of Muslim travelers to the region will increase tremendously, making the new prayer room a valuable and welcome addition to the airport. The new prayer room will be open to worshippers of all faiths, as a private place for reflection. This means that people from all religions will be able to enter and offer their prayers, providing a suitable environment for that respects liberality and reflection. The interfaith chapel is located in the airport’s Terminal B just beyond the west security checkpoint in between gates 1 and 59.
The airport has spent approximately $250,000 to construct the prayer room, which will also include ablution facilities, carry-on-luggage bins and shoe racks and directional signs to the guide the Qibla direction, which is the direction that Muslims face when they offer prayers. The room also includes benches and a carpeted area where travelers can sit.
Currently, Muslim travelers to the airport offer prayers in public or in restrooms, or at the small nondenominational chapel on Airside B which has prayer mats. The new prayer room ensures that travelers will not have to kneel on bathroom floors or in corners and will be able to pray in suitable conditions. It is also said that the prayer room will include a lounge and electronic charging stations. These moves will aim to accommodate increasing numbers of Muslim travelers.
This is a great step to boost Orlando’s global community. The Director of Orlando airport Phil Brown stated “Orlando is truly becoming a global community, and we want to be able to accommodate and provide high-quality amenities for all our passengers.”