The fact that the UAE is a hub for multiculturalism and peaceful coexistence is one that is fortified with facts and statistics. Now, its tolerance for other faiths and encouragement of interfaith dialogue has come to the fore with the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the first traditional Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi being carried out.
The ceremony was conducted yesterday morning with thousands of members of the Indian community attending the proceedings, in addition to officials representing the UAE and India. The foundation stones were laid at around 11.45 am in the wake of religious ceremonies that started early in the morning.
The ceremony was carried out as is the norm with vedic rituals in the presence of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS) Swaminarayan Sanstha. Also in attendance during the ceremony were Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, Director of Community Development Department, Thani Al Zoyoudi, Minister of Climate Change, and Ahmad Bilhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education Affairs and Advanced Sciences, in addition to the Indian ambassador to the UAE, Navdeep Suri, and BR Shetty, Chairman of NMC group.
The temple is located at the Abu Mureikha, E11 Expressway, Exit 366 Abu Dhabi. The sanctification ritual of the land had earlier been carried out last year in February.