Abu Dhabi: 17 churches, one Hindu temple granted permission in UAE

Daijiworld Media Network – Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, Sep 22: Non-Muslim places of worship in Abu Dhabi, including decades-old churches, were officially given legal recognition on Sunday, September 22, reports Khaleej Times, leading newspaper in UAE. 

Seventeen churches and one Hindu temple in the UAE capital were granted licences in a historic ceremony held at Emirates Palace. 

Under the banner 'A Call for Harmony', the department of community development in Abu Dhabi (DCD) decided to bring all the religious institutions under one licence umbrella in order to make the authority to support them in a better way in their operations.


"For decades, our great leaders have welcomed people from various religions, making the UAE a place for all. Abu Dhabi is now a leading model for tolerance and co-existence," Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, chairman of the DCD, said during the special event. 

"The UAE is keen on embracing unity and promoting the inclusion of everyone who had contributed to the development of the country. With this new initiative, the places of worship will now be working and operating under one umbrella,” he added. 

He also informed that unlike before, the religious bodies can now rely on one official government channel whenever they need advice or support. 

The DCD has developed legal frameworks, policies and procedures to ensure that people of all religions would be able to practice their faith, in accordance with UAE laws and without affecting the country's customs and traditions. 

Establishing places of worship has long been welcomed in the UAE, reflecting the country's respect for diversity and values of different communities. Most of these sites were built on land gifted by the emirate's rulers, and they had been operating with informal approval from local authorities. St Joseph's Cathedral, for example, is the emirate's oldest church dating back to 1965. And many of the religious institutions have existed for over 40 years. 

St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Abu Dhabi predates the union of the UAE and has been the spiritual home of thousands of Christians for over five decades. There are also other churches like St Andrews Church, St George Orthodox Church, Coptic Orthodox Church, and Evangelical Community Church.


Comment on this article


    Mon, Sep 23 2019

    wow great decision but all credit goes to our Prime minister Narendra Modiji ...

    DisAgree [18] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ruben Pinto, Mangalore/Australia

    Mon, Sep 23 2019

    The rulers of UAE have realized that the mullah mentality has to go and tolerance is the best way ahead for peace which will lead to prosperity. May Allah bless them.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • ad, mangaluru

    Mon, Sep 23 2019

    And the Churches are attacked in India. How ironic!!!!!

    DisAgree [13] Agree [36] Reply Report Abuse

  • Al Dsouza, Canada

    Mon, Sep 23 2019

    All.these countries start opening doors for immigrants for permanent residence for all nationalities to prosper them as well as to meet the target of climate change. Demographics have changed and open doors for immigrants will make it very good without bias and go for democracy with secularism. Just open church or hindu temple gives little freedom but not full democracy.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • H. Almeida., Bendur/Andheri

    Sun, Sep 22 2019

    The rulers of UAE, have realised the true essence of the universal creator !!!!!!! The ancient churches, which were silenced, after the dawn of Islam, have been restored to glory.... Saudi Arabia, must now acknowledge, that repression, of other faiths, in their kingdom, will certainly spell doom, absolute gloom, declaring them into a pariah state , among the global nations !!!!!!

    DisAgree [10] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vijay, Mangalore

    Sun, Sep 22 2019

    Here is our kudla complaining about MATHANTHARA. Christians were 2.5% 50years ago and still 2.5% 2019, yet some are complaining.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [58] Reply Report Abuse

  • SmR, Karkala

    Sun, Sep 22 2019

    The UAE is observing 2019 as year of 'tolerance'. This is the same nation PM Modi this year alone paid two visits had not learned anything.

    I appreciate the UAE rulers for tolerance and offering more than three million Indian jobs who in turn support their families back home.

    Jai Hind

    DisAgree [12] Agree [54] Reply Report Abuse

  • Kudla day, Kudla, Doha

    Sun, Sep 22 2019

    Gcc is a place where no hindus or christians are forced to say Allahu akbar..!!!!
    I hope no one is forced to say anything on behalf of religion in india
    Jay hind🇮🇳🇮🇳

    DisAgree [13] Agree [74] Reply Report Abuse


    Sun, Sep 22 2019

    we indians also not behind

    DisAgree [45] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Chris, Tel Aviv

    Sun, Sep 22 2019

    With the advent of more sustainable and renewable sources of energy to replace petrol , these tactics are expected , even Saudi is also following the same footsteps.

    DisAgree [32] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • MM, Mangalore

    Sun, Sep 22 2019

    Obviously you can't back generosity Arabs or act like pro-Islamic states as long as you stay in Tel Aviv.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • ad, mangaluru

    Mon, Sep 23 2019

    Explains why you are in Tel Aviv

    DisAgree [4] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • abdul munim, mangaluru

    Sun, Sep 22 2019

    kudos to the rulers of UAE. They are always forward thinking.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [61] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prashant Karkera, Hejamady

    Sun, Sep 22 2019

    We Indians are forward thinking for a long time, we never set any limit to build any religious structures...

    DisAgree [36] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • MM, Mangalore

    Mon, Sep 23 2019

    But now the reality is totally contrary after 1992.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Atlanta

    Sun, Sep 22 2019

    This is called Tolerance ...

    DisAgree [25] Agree [109] Reply Report Abuse

  • JWL, KSA, M'lore

    Sun, Sep 22 2019

    See here the Nos., of intolerant people disagree's !!!!!

    DisAgree [7] Agree [43] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Atlanta

    Sun, Sep 22 2019

    I appreciate Democracy ...

    DisAgree [8] Agree [48] Reply Report Abuse


Title : Abu Dhabi: 17 churches, one Hindu temple granted permission in UAE


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