Miami - Orlando, Florida is one of the top traveler destinations in the world welcoming hundreds of thousands of tourists from all cultures and religions. Most travelers arrive by air at the Orlando International Airport (MCO).
Miami – Orlando, Florida is one of the top traveler destinations in the world welcoming hundreds of thousands of tourists from all cultures and religions. Most travelers arrive by air at the Orlando International Airport (MCO).
As of September 1st, Dubai-based Emirates Airlines will be flying daily in and out of MCO on Airside 4. The affluence of passengers from the Middle East is expected to increase accordingly which has created a larger need for traveler prayer areas. According to several local reports in Orlando, MCO has spent $250,000 to build another prayer area named Reflection Room.
This Reflection Room will welcome travelers and airport employees of all religions to practice their faith in a quiet area. MCO has had a non-denominational chapel on the other side of the airport past security checkpoints (Airside B), since the 1980s.
On a statement to the Orlando Sentinel, MCO Director Phil Brown wrote, “Orlando is truly becoming a global community, and we want to be able to accommodate and provide high-quality amenities for all our passengers”.
According to Shayan Modarres, a Muslim and Orlando civil-rights attorney, the Reflection Room will have an “ablution area, carry-on-luggage bins and shoe racks, as well as directional signs” where Muslims can pray and face east in the direction of the Mecca.
Before this Reflection Room, Muslims have had to pass security checkpoint on the B side to do their prayers, or settle to pray in public areas and even inside restrooms. Orlando Aviation is planning another prayer room before passing security checkpoints to accommodate families and guests of those not traveling as well.
This will be an interfaith Reflection Room where everyone is welcome, Imam Muhammad Musri, President of the Islamic Society of Central Florida says, “Travel involves anxiety. People are anxious when they fly. They like to have space where they can relax and pray”.
The Reflection Room is scheduled to open on September 1st.