The UAE government has granted licence to Non-Muslim places worships in Abu Dhabi. The official legal recognition to 17 churches, 1 Hindu temple and 5 other places of worship were given on Sunday. The licence was granted at a historic ceremony held at Emirates Palace.
The Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi (DCD) decided to bring all the religious institutions under one licence so that the authority could support them in their operations.
The DCD has developed legal frameworks, policies and procedures to ensure that people of all religions would be able to practise their faith, in accordance with UAE laws and without affecting the country’s customs and traditions, DCD officials said.
Historic places of spirituality
1-St. Joseph’s Cathedral
Inaugurated in February 1965, St. Joseph’s is the oldest church in Abu Dhabi. It is located near the intersection of Airport Road (Street 2) and 17th Street. The parish caters to over 100,000 Catholic expatriates.
2-St. Andrew’s Church
This church complex located in Mushrif. St. Andrew’s Church was first established in 196. It moved to the new location in Mushrif in 1980.
3-First Hindu temple
The foundation stone of the UAE’s first traditional Hindu temple was laid in a shilanyas ceremony in Abu Dhabi in April this year. It is set to rise on 55,000 square metres of land near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway. Hand-carved from pink sandstone by craftsmen in India, the shrine is expected to be ready by 2020.
4-St. George Orthodox Church
In 1968, the orthodox congregation moved into the cathedral and, two years later, it had become a parish. In 1983, the current St. George Orthodox Cathedral was consecrated. The cathedral is situated close to the Abu Dhabi British School, near the Evangelical Community Church. It offers services to over 1,200 expat families.