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Abu Dhabi will get its First Hindu Temple by 2017, will have Idols of Lord Krishna, Maheshwara, Ayyappa and more

When will the government of UAE take measures to improve the conditions of Indian laborers at the Emirates bonded with Kafala?

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October 12, 2016: The first Hindu temple of Abu Dhabi will be ready by the end of 2017. The temple is being constructed on the property donated by the government of Muslim Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates, said a business working on the project on Tuesday.

According to the Reuters report, the temple will come up on 20,000 square meters of land at Al Wathba. BR Shetty, Head of the Temple Coordination Committee said,” Al Wathba is just 30 minutes away from Abu Dhabi city. It will be close to the highway on Abu-Dhabi-Al road. The temple will be ready within one year. The temple will have idols of Lord Krishna, Maheshwara, Ayyappa and more. It will have a good Vrindavan and a waterfront.”

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Last year, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, UAE government announced its decision to allocate land for first Hindu temple of Abu Dhabi.

The meeting with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was seen as an important step in escalating trade dealing between the two countries and the decision to construct a Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi. This was to strengthen the strategic vision of the two nations.

Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince will be the chief guest at India’s annual Republic Day parade next year, mentioned Reuters.

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Indians constitute for about one-third of the population of UAE, which exceeds the local Emirati population. But the condition of the Indians community is dismal in the UAE.

According to the press agency, almost 80% of the Indians are laborers who are bonded to Kafala (the contract system) which seizes all their human rights. The unfair and abusive conditions of the Indians were completely ignored during the Modi’s visit.

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Building a temple is fine but wouldn’t it have been better if Modi’s visit has resulted in some changes in the Kafala that would have bought the poor laborers some happiness. But unfortunately, the people, who really needed help in surviving at UAE, were sweating at a construction site or were not even allowed inside the stadium.

– prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: diksha_arya53

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Modi to lay foundation stone for Abu Dhabi’s first Indian temple

The temple compound will include a visitors' centre, prayer halls, exhibition centre, learning areas, sports area for children and youths, thematic gardens, water features, a food court, books and gift shop and other facilities

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will also hold a meeting there with the Indian community. Wikimedia Commons
will also hold a meeting there with the Indian community. Wikimedia Commons
  • This is Modi’s second visit to the UAE after August 2015
  • Modi was scheduled to arrive here in the evening
  • The temple’s construction will be completed by 2020, and open to people of all religious backgrounds

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the first Hindu temple in the United Arab Emirates’ capital, which is home to a huge Indian diaspora.

This is Modi’s second visit to the UAE after August 2015. He was scheduled to arrive here in the evening.

“The first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi will come up on 55,000 square metres of land and the groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday will be a historic event,” said Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri.

The Indian leader will be laying the foundation stone for the temple from the Dubai Opera House via video conferencing. He will also hold a meeting there with the Indian community.

“The occasion is going to be historic… because it will also see the commencement of the first Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi. We are very pleased that we have received 55,000 square metres of land near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway,” said Suri.

The temple’s construction will be completed by 2020, and open to people of all religious backgrounds.

It will be the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East, said a spokesperson from the BAPS Swaminarayanan Sanstha that is entrusted with the design, construction and management of the temple.

Also Read: Kerala Tourism to organise promotion event in Abu Dhabi to attract cash-rich Arab travellers

The temple will be hand-carved by Indian temple artisans and assembled in the UAE, said the BAPS spokesperson.

The UAE has two Hindu temples which are located in Dubai. Devotees from Abu Dhabi and other emirates have to drive to Dubai for prayers and offerings.

The temple compound will include a visitors’ centre, prayer halls, exhibition centre, learning areas, sports area for children and youths, thematic gardens, water features, a food court, books and gift shop and other facilities.

Sadhu Brahmaviharidas, the chief spokesperson of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, said the generous gift of land for a Hindu temple by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, “was a strong and sound message to the world that cultural and spiritual inclusiveness is the way forward for global harmony”.

It will replicate the BAPS temple in New Delhi and the one under construction in New Jersey, a trust member told the Khaleej Times.

BAPS manages 1,200 temples in India, UK, the US, Australia, Canada and Africa.

Also Read: Abu Dhabi keeps the Smart City dream alive

Meanwhile, the UAE’s iconic buildings like the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Frame, Adnoc building and the Emirates Palace were lit up in colours of India’s flag ahead of Modi’s visit to the country.

Modi’s high-level engagements here include bilateral meetings with top UAE leaders and a keynote address at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Sunday, in which India is the guest country.

Earlier in the day, Modi was in Ramallah where he received a rousing welcome on the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Palestine. (IANS)