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To check on the progress of the first traditional Hindu temple coming up in Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, met with Pujya Brahmavihari Swami of BAPS and Ambassador of India Pavan Kapoor.

BAPS is a Gujarat-based social and spiritual organisation serving the Hindu community in the UAE. The BAPS Hindu Mandir, expected to be ready in 2022, is “a project of global harmony that will regenerate faith and hope, celebrating the unique friendship of India and the UAE and their dedication to progress and peace.”

The one-hour meeting was held against the background of sunset in the deserts of Al Ain. On behalf of Mahant Swami Maharaj, a golden memento of the temple’s tower was gifted to Sheikh Abdullah.

The foundation stone of the temple was laid in April last year and work started in December. The temple will have seven towers representing the seven emirates of the UAE; it will come up on a 14-acre piece of land at Abu Mureikhah in Al Rahba area on the Abu Dhabi-Sweihan-Al Ain Road, close to the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway. Its construction is expected to cost a minimum of AED 400 million.

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The temple will have the traditional ancient stone architecture used for religious buildings in India. It will be the first such Hindu temple in the Middle East. Pink sandstones from Rajasthan capable of withstanding desert heat will be used in its construction. The columns will be carved in India and shipped to the UAE.

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A Dialogue on Harmony with HRH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan 12 October 2020 – Abu Dhabi, UAE. His Royal Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation met with Pujya Brahmavihari Swami of BAPS and HE Pavan Kapoor, the Ambassador of India for a special dialogue on global harmony, universal values and the historic BAPS Hindu Mandir upcoming in the UAE for the entire Hindu community. In these challenging times of the Covid Pandemic, such a project of global harmony will regenerate faith and hope, celebrating the unique friendship of India and the UAE and their dedication to progress and peace. In conclusion, while His Royal Highness thanked Swamiji for his spiritual love and prayers, Pujya Brahmavihari Swami expressed his deepest gratitude for the warm friendship and continued support extended by the Royal Leadership. On behalf of HH Mahant Swami Maharaj, an exquisite golden memento of the Mandir's Shikhar was gifted to His Highness. This one hour meeting lit by sunset in the deserts of Al Ain speaks volumes about The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, HRH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan's vision and commitment for a more inclusive, more peaceful and harmonious future.

A post shared by BAPS Hindu Mandir, Abu Dhabi (@abudhabimandir) on

The organisation thanked the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who had donated the land for the temple, for his vision and commitment for a more inclusive, peaceful and harmonious future. Right now, there is only a Hindu mandir in Bur Dubai, Dubai.

It was during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to the UAE in 2015 that the decision to build the temple was taken. On another visit in February 2018, Modi attended the stone laying ceremony via live stream from Dubai Opera House.