TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The largest renovation of Istiqlal Mosque has made it ready to not only be a place of worship but also a religious study center and tourist destinations. It has also now become one of the halal tourist destinations in the country.
Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said the largest mosque in Southeast Asia has the potential to be a religious tourist destination. “Istiqlal is an icon of Indonesia. Many tourists and world leaders visiting Indonesia come to Istiqlal,” said Sandiaga after signing an MoU with the mosque management agency (BPMI) on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.
It is also agreed in the deal that the mosque will be a halal culinary destination. Tourists will later enjoy shopping for halal food and local products in the mosque courtyard.
The Grand Imam Nasaruddin Umar said his side created a mosque’s tagline of New Istiqlal. “It is not only new in the physical building, but also various new programs, including tourism,” he said.
New Istiqlal, he explained, would serve the mosque as a 'window' for tourists to learn about the archipelago. “Because in terms of architecture and development history, Istiqlal Mosque really reflects Indonesia,” he added.
Nasaruddin said one of the programs to be held at Istiqlal Mosque is a spiritual music festival that will invite sholawat (devotional songs) groups from Indonesia, Turkey, and other countries.