Jersey's assistant chief minister has returned from a triumphant visit from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar which has strengthened the island's commercial and political ties with the Middle East. Senator Sir Philip Bailhache met government and senior figures of commerce in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha.
Senator Bailhache said: "We have good relationships with the Emirati and Qatari governments and I have built on these firm foundations during my visit. The political agreement with Qatar, which I signed during my visit, is further evidence of our commitment to this important partner in the Middle East, and Qatar will be investing in Jersey. In an exciting new development, Qatar has bought the site at Plemont from the previous owner, and after sensitive negotiations has secured planning permission to build on the site. Instead of the ugly holiday camp, there will be offices for business, a community centre for the Island's muslims, and the first Mosque on Jersey soil. The building of this will provide substantial work for the local labour force, and help ease the unemployment situation."
It is understood that the site may become sovereign territory for Qatar, following the model of Victor Hugo's Hauteville House in Guernsey, which is legally French territory.
The holiday camp at Plemont, with its swimming pool, in its heyday. This has now fallen in decay, and a former Pontin's employee said: "I used to clean at the holiday camp, and I've been offered a job cleaning the new Mosque and community centre.
An artists impression of the new Mosque, which the former Planning Minister Freddie Cohen, described as "an exciting, innovative and world class design, which will become an iconic feature of the headland at Plemont".
Adhan - the call for prayer - will be called out by the muezzin in the mosque five times a day, from a minaret, summoning Muslims for mandatory prayers (salah). The remote location of Plemont means that Parishioners of St Ouen will not be disturbed by the sound.
Puffins will be protected under Sharia Law. Birds are revered in Islamic literature, especially in Sufi tradition where they are a metaphor for the soul's divine journey to God, such as in The Conference of the Birds.