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The United Arab Emirates has inaugurated the country’s first Sikh Gurdwara. The Sikh community said it was an example of the strength of the community and their role in UAE society.
The United Arab Emirates has inaugurated the country’s first official Sikh gurdwara.
Guru Nanak Darbar opened in Jebel Ali around 35 km from Dubai, ending years of demand from the Sikh community for a dedicated place of worship.
The Gurdwara is believed to be the first of its kind in the entire region.
Narinder Singh resident of Dubai and member of Sikh in Dubai, who conducts kirtan (devotional songs) believe, “It’s a historical step and a boast for the Sikh community living in the UAE”. People are taking flights to Dubai to see the Sikh Gurdwara from all over the country. His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai gave his consent for the gurdwara. He also gave away free land for the gurudwara.
The gurudwara is spread over an area of 25,000 square feet near the Jebel Ali Hospital.
It has a dedicated floor for community feasts (langar) and a huge hall for devotional songs (kirtan). Arrangements can be made for community feasts for about 5,000 people at a time.
After a long-standing demand, the Sikh community believes it was an example of the strength of the community and their role in UAE society. There are an estimated 50,000 Sikhs in the UAE, hailing from India and Pakistan.
Dubai Marina resident Giftie Sahany says, “This has proved once again that Dubai is a cosmopolitan city and respects all religion”.