Photo: The mosque at the Jakarta Islamic Center. Photo supplied by Jakarta Islamic Center

Islamic Lifestyle

Jakarta Islamic museum opening delayed, former red light district continues halalification process

JAKARTA - The opening of Jakarta’s new Islamic museum at the Jakarta Islamic Center (JIC) has been postponed to the second quarter of 2019 due to pending construction work caused by a change in local government budget policy after a new governor came into office in October 2017, the head of JIC secretariat, Ahmad Juhandi, told Salaam Gateway.

The museum was scheduled to open in 2018. JIC is still working with France’s Musée du Louvre’s Department of Islamic Art that is providing supervision, technical and branding assistance for the establishment of the new museum, said Juhandi.

In a bid to further transform the district that was once home to more than 1,600 sex workers, JIC is also planning to convert a nearby Hotel Arcici to become halal-certified Hotel Al Hijra, said Juhandi.

The development will be undertaken by state-owned PT Jakarta Tourisindo and is expected to be completed in the first half of this year, he added.

JIC was built in 2003 in the now-gentrified northern Jakarta district of Kramat Tunggak.

The Jakarta local government will spend around 6 billion Indonesian rupiah ($428,175) to develop the 10.9 hectare center.  

According to Juhandi, JIC welcomes an average of 5,000 visitors per month but it is not making any money.

“JIC is currently not making any revenue yet from our visitors or from renting out the building or rooms,” said Juhandi.

“Everybody can come to JIC free because we want to motivate them to learn more about Islam,” he added.

The ongoing development of the JIC and its surrounding district is part of Jakarta’s efforts to improve its infrastructure and services to attract more Muslim visitors in its halal tourism push.

(Reporting by Yosi Winosa; Editing by Emmy Abdul Alim

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Yosi Winosa