A win for multiculturalism: Abu Dhabi to construct its first Hindu temple by 2017
The new temple, fully sponsored by the Abu Dhabi government, is expected to be completed within eight or nine months. (Shutterstock)
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The first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi will come up on 20,000 square metres of land at Al-Wathba. “We took delivery of the land on Monday. The temple will be built within one year,” said BR Shetty, the businessman who heads the temple coordination committee, on Monday night.
“Al-Wathba is just 30 minutes from Abu Dhabi City. It will be close to the highway on Abu Dhabi-Al Ain road,” Shetty, chief executive officer of NMC Healthcare and UAE Exchange, told Khaleej Times.
Elaborating on the size of the land, he said: “The temple will come up on 20,000 square metres (4.95 acres) of compact and beautiful land. It will be the largest.” At present, there are two Hindu temples and one Sikh gurudwara in Dubai.
Specifying the time frame, Shetty said: “It shouldn’t take a year. It should be ready in eight to nine months.”
Inside the temple, the idols will be of “deities Krishna, Maheshwara, Ayyappa and more.” The temples in Dubai are dedicated to Shiva and Krishna. The architectural plan has been finalised and a consultant appointed.
“The temple will have a good vrindavan (garden) and a waterfront,” Shetty added. It was during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in August last year that the UAE Government announced its decision to allocate land for Abu Dhabi’s first ever Hindu temple.
“Till date, we only had permission for the temple. It was only on Monday that the land allotment happened,” Shetty said on the sidelines of a press conference at the Indian Social and Cultural Centre to announce the second ISC–Koosamma Shedthy Memorial UAE Open Badminton Team League Tournament.
Just last week, Shaikha Lubna visited the Gurunarak Darbar Sikh Temple in Jebel Ali, where she noted that “religious tolerance is a fundamental pillar of a strong state, and a catalyst of prosperity in today’s world.”
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