Muslim prayer room to open in Gangneung in time for Pyeong Chang Olympics

A prayer room will be available for Muslim tourists in Gangneung, South Korea, only 20 kilometers from the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) said.

The move is in response to a growing number of Muslim tourists, mostly from Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The number of Muslim tourists to Korea reached 930,000 last year, a huge jump from 540,000 in 2012.

The seven-meter-long, 2.8-meter-wide, 3.3-meter-high room consists of two parts ― a tub where visitors can wash their feet ― a ritual before prayer ― and a space for five to six people to pray.

Copies of the Quran, Islam’s central religious text, will be provided, as will an air conditioner and electric heater.

There are already prayer rooms at tourist sites, such as major international airports, KTX stations across the country, Nami Island and the Korean Folk Village.

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