Dubai: The United Arab Emirates’ first dedicated Hindu temple opened in Dubai on Tuesday, providing a place of worship and a support network for the large Indian community, including migrant workers. A mix of Indian and UAE architectural styles, the large white marble building is located in the Jebel Ali harbor area, officially a Muslim country, and also houses a church and a Sikh temple.

Thousands of South Asian workers live in nearby labor camps and special buses are provided to visit the 2,300-square-meter temple and its community centre. Committee member Raju Shroff, who runs a textile business, said his father’s 50-year-old dream of opening a dedicated temple in Dubai has come true.

“It’s a dream come true for my father, who has been in this country since at least 1960, so it’s a great feeling,” he told AFP. We’ve been working on it for years, so it’s been quite a (long) journey,” Shroff added. The temple, which has a distinctive lotus flower pattern that adorns the central skylight, was built at a cost of about 60 million dirhams ($16 million) and can accommodate 1,000 people at a time.

In anticipation of high demand, visitors are required to apply for a QR code online and scan it for entry. Indians are her UAE’s largest expatriate community, comprising about 35% of the 10 million population. Besides being a temple for all forms of Hinduism, it serves as a support center for Indian expatriates, especially workers, where professionals such as lawyers and doctors provide volunteer services.

When workers face distress or special demands, “they can reach out to us, and we reach out to the whole community,” Shroff said. There are a lot of workers and we want to help, and there are so many professionals who want to help that we really become a platform to… bridge the gap,” he said. added that the United Arab Emirates government has greatly promoted “tolerance” of different religious views, appointing a Minister of State for Tolerance, holding an annual Tolerance Festival and declaring 2019 the Year of Tolerance. Did. – AFP

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