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An artist's impression of the temple.

Foundation stone laid for Abu Dhabi's first Hindu temple

ABU DHABI, April 21, 2019

The foundation stone for the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi was laid yesterday (April 20) in the Bu Marikha area on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai Highway, said a Wam news agency report.
 
A cultural complex with an art gallery, halls, library, gym and more facilities, the 55,000 sq m temple will feature intricate architecture and delicate carvings that will re-tell ancient stories from Indian scriptures about peace and spirituality, it said.
 
"Under resolution No 57 of 2018, issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, on the additional competencies of the Department of Community Development-Abu Dhabi, (DCD), the DCD is developing the legal framework regulating the establishment of places of worship and public utility societies, clubs, and sporting institutions as well as overseeing their adherence to the existing criteria and systems in conjunction with other departments concerned," said Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, chairman of DCD, during the foundation stone laying ceremony of the first traditional Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
 
The ceremony was attended by Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment; Dr Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills; and Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha - the religious and social organisation building the temple, along with Navdeep Suri, Ambassador of India to the UAE.
 
"Regulating the establishment of places of worship in the UAE is an insightful step by the government of the UAE to ensure the freedom of religion for all those living in the UAE while meeting their religious needs in line with the laws and regulations applicable in the UAE as well as the country's customs and traditions," added Dr Al Khaili.
 
"The UAE boasts a privileged status regionally and internationally thanks to the values of religious diversity, pluralism and cultural harmony, which have encouraged the peoples of more than 200 nationalities to live in the country in peaceful co-existence," Dr Al Khaili said, while commenting on the visit to the UAE of the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.
 
"Laying the foundation stone of the temple is reflective of the landscape of tolerance and pluralism in the UAE," he added, noting that the significant development translates the robust relations between the governments and peoples of the UAE and India.
 
"The Founding Father, late Sheikh Zayed, always believed that co-existence between peoples of various religious beliefs and nationalities is the only way to establish international peace," he concluded.



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