Hindu Temple, Dubai

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Dubai Hindu Temple
Religion
AffiliationHinduism
DeityLord Krishna, Lord Siva
Location
LocationBur Dubai
StateDubai
CountryUnited Arab Emirates
Hindu Temple, Dubai is located in Dubai
Hindu Temple, Dubai
Location within Dubai
Geographic coordinates25°15′53″N 55°17′48″E / 25.264705°N 55.296759°E / 25.264705; 55.296759Coordinates: 25°15′53″N 55°17′48″E / 25.264705°N 55.296759°E / 25.264705; 55.296759

The Dubai Hindu Temple is a place of worship for Hindus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The small temple caters to the large Hindu community in the United Arab Emirates and is currently the only Hindu temple in the UAE.[1]

Services[edit]

The temple is only a prayer hall with two altars or shrines ("Sannidhis") on two sides, one for Shiva and one for Krishna. A third altar has been set up for Shirdi Sai Baba also.

The temple is run in conjunction with the Indian consulate in Dubai. Daily worship is performed here for the framed paintings / posters. The temple also performs wedding ceremonies between Hindus. However, Hindu marriages cannot be registered in the United Arab Emirates.[2]

Description[edit]

In 1958, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum permitted a Hindu "temple" (actually only a small room) to be built on the first floor on top of a warren of old-fashioned shops in Bur Dubai.[3][4] This shopping center is known as the "Bur Dubai Old Souk" and is located west of the Dubai Creek in the area known as Bur Dubai.

This temple, which was permitted to be built in 1958 is the only temple in UAE. The temple is relatively small compared to diaspora of Indians in UAE. It comprises a medium-sized prayer room located above a warren of old-style shops in the old city area of Dubai, almost an hour drive from the main city. It can be considered more accurately a prayer hall. Most people aren't able to attend prayers on festivals due to room's ability to only hold 10-15 people comfortably at a time.

There used to be a large department store there, built on the upper floor above a set of old-fashioned shops, as department store was shut down, and the area was given for creating a temple. Even today, we find the remains of the department store in the shape of several spiral staircases dotting the prayer hall and taking to lofts (department-store mezzanines) which are used for storage, like in department stores.

Temple Structure[edit]

The approach to the temple is through one of the alleys in the shopping center. Underneath the temple hall, there are small old-fashioned shops. This is the shopping center, and there's no perticular identifiable gateway. The alley has shops on both sides, some of which sell the material required for worship, such as flowers and joss-sticks. There are walls built to make the structure sound proof as per government laws to noise control because of structures position in small crowded market.

Plans for a temple in Abu Dhabi[edit]

Plans ware afoot to build another temple in the UAE, but in Abu Dhabi.[5] These plans were there for many years and little progress has been made. In July 2013, a Muslim businessman donated five acres of land adjoining a mosque for setting up a Swaminarayan temple just outside the city of Abu Dhabi, off the highway going towards Dubai.[6] In August 2015, the UAE government announced permission for building a Hindu temple on it. The announcement was made during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE.[7][8][9]

According to reports, the temple will be permitted to contain only paintings of Hindu gods but no idols. because idols ("graven images") are not permitted there. As places of worship built in UAE, needs to be in compliance with UAE religious laws.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lipton, Edward P. (1 January 2002). Religious Freedom in the Near East, Northern Africa, and the Former Soviet States. Nova Publishers. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-59033-390-7. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  2. ^ When expats tie the knot Archived 2008-03-18 at the Wayback Machine. Gulf News. Nov 2, 2007
  3. ^ "What makes Indian expats in the UAE unique?".
  4. ^ "Hindus, Sikhs crowd UAE's lone temple".
  5. ^ "UAE allocates land for Abu Dhabi's first Hindu temple". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  6. ^ "Arab donates land for Swaminarayan temple in UAE".
  7. ^ "UAE takes a 'landmark' decision, allots land for building first temple in Abu Dhabi".
  8. ^ "UAE allots land for temple on Modi visit".
  9. ^ "UAE decides to allot land for temple in Abu Dhabi".