Sikhism in the United Arab Emirates

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Sikhism in the United Arab Emirates has a following of over 50,000;[1] the majority of Sikhs in the UAE are found in Dubai and are expatriates hailing from Punjab, India. There are smaller numbers of Pakistani Sikhs also.

There is a Sikh Gurdwara in Dubai which serves over 10,000 worshippers. In June 2010, foundations were laid for the Guru Nanak Darbar. At a cost of $20 million, the large gurdwara is located in Jebel Ali, Dubai and will be the first 'official' Sikh temple in the entire Gulf, catering to the needs of the local Sikh community.[2] An area of 25,400 sq ft (2,360 m2) of land was given by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for the construction of the building. A community member and local businessman who proposed the gurdwara remarked "My dream is to make Guru Nanak Durbar the best, second only to the Golden Temple in Amritsar.[3]

Gurunanak Darbar is modelled on both the Golden Temple and the gurdwara in Southall, London by Interior designer Paul Bishop. Apart from a large carpeted prayer hall, there are three smaller rooms for private functions, a meditation room, a library and the spacious 'langar' or common kitchen hall. The state-of-the-art kitchen can serve the 10,000 plus worshipers who come every Friday. [4]

To develop religious values among the next generation of NRIs, special three-hour sessions are held for children on Saturdays at the temple where they are taught Punjabi, 'Kirtans' and how to behave in places of worship.[5]


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