Tolerance in the UAE existed before the union
The UAE is home to more than 200 nationalities of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds who are living and working peacefully and practicing their religious rituals freely. The Government of the UAE donated lands to followers of other faiths to build their own places of worship and practice their religious rituals without any restrictions.
The journey of tolerance in the UAE began before the federation by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, when he invited Christians to practice their religion freely and safely, while helping them build the first church in Abu Dhabi in the year 1965.
By 1996, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum followed the same path, and granted Christians a land to build the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dubai.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, followed the footsteps of the founding fathers and granted the Sikh a land in Dubai to build the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Gurudwara in 2012.
Surender Singh Kandhari and Rajdeep Singh from the Sikh Temple along with Linnie Alphonse Connully from St. Mary’s Catholic Church shared with Dubai Post the beautiful experience of tolerance and peaceful coexistence they found in Dubai.
"The late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum gave the Christians the opportunity to choose the land where they want to build the church without restrictions," said Linnie, General Manager of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Dubai. "Then, he attended the church inauguration ceremony and gifted us a gospel for the church, which we ring on special occasions such as the National Day to honor the founding fathers of the UAE who helped us and made us feel home.”
"We are proud and thankful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed for his kindness and granting us this land to build our temple where we can pray. We welcome everyone to visit us," said Rajdeep Singh, Manager in the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Gurudwara.