On the path to promoting a culture of tolerance and countering hatred, a ceremony was held on Saturday to lay the cornerstone of the first Hindu temple in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, thus continuing to lead the UAE in spreading the values of moderation and acceptance of the other.
This came at a ceremony in the capital Abu Dhabi, attended by ministers and officials, the official news agency reported.
The temple will be built in the Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway, covering an area of 55,000 square meters, the Emirates News Agency reported.
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The source said the temple will include worship halls, a visitor center, a learning area, a kindergarten, gardens, a dining hall, a bookshop, and a gift shop, adding that it will open its doors to other religions.
Dr. Ahmed Bin Abdullah Humaid Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills in the UAE, Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, President of the United Arab Emirates, The Department of Community Development of the UAE, and the presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of the organization “BAPS”, which is building the temple, and the dossier of Singh Suri, Ambassador of the Republic of India to the UAE.
Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili stressed that the Emirati Community Development Department, in accordance with Resolution No.57 of 2018 issued by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on the additional competencies of the Abu Dhabi Community Development Department, The legal framework regulating the establishment of places of worship and associations of public interest, clubs and sports institutions, and supervising their commitment to the standards and regulations in force in cooperation with the concerned authorities, in addition to setting standards for licensing, inspection and inspection of places of worship.
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“The Community Development Department will facilitate and facilitate the licensing of the places of worship and the organization of its mechanisms to serve all religions and sects in order to strengthen the status of the state as a place of peace and tolerance,” he said.
“Organizing the houses of worship is a pioneering and effective government step to ensure that all citizens of other faiths have the right to practice their religion and to meet their religious needs, in accordance with the customs, traditions, and laws of the UAE.” he added.
“The UAE has a strong regional and international reputation, and we see it through the diversity and harmony that characterizes our society. Our country today embraces citizens of more than 200 nationalities,” said Al Khaili. On the occasion of the visit of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj to the UAE, Where everyone lives in security, stability, and freedom to practice their religion, and everyone works to promote the scene of sustainable development in the UAE.
The President of the Community Development Department stated that laying the foundation stone for the Hindu temple is an embodiment of the coexistence, harmony, and tolerance of the UAE leadership and people, the strong relations between the UAE and India and the two countries’ peoples. As a beacon of global peace, stressing that this event is the most accurate expression of what distinguishes the people of the UAE as a civilized people and receptive to the other.
Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili pointed out that the UAE has become a destination for millions of people who wish to live, invest, travel and work in it, and therefore we must ensure all aspects of life to them to have a high quality of life and find all they can live in stability.
“Father Zayed believes that the coexistence of all people of all races and races is the only way to promote world peace,” Khaili said.
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The temple will be built on the 55,000 square meter Abu Rumaijah Road, which will serve more than a million people who embrace Hinduism in the UAE. The temple will include worship halls, a visitor center, learning venues, a kindergarten, gardens, a dining hall, and a shop. Books, and other gifts, in addition to it, will open its doors to the owners of other religions.
The temple is expected to be inaugurated in 2020, a date that is expected by more than 3 million Indians, working and living in the UAE.
Since the time of the late founder, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the State has taken firm steps to consolidate the values of tolerance, embracing various places of worship so that individuals can practice their religious rites freely and have passed laws that criminalize hatred and discrimination.