Churches, temples, synagogues: A guide to 13 places of worship in the UAE

These houses of worship are a testament to the UAE's tolerance

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The various houses of worship in the UAE are symbolic of the country's commitment to tolerance.

That dedication to religious harmony has also been enshrined in the stunning Abrahamic Family House, home to the country’s first synagogue.

The stirring site on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, joins several churches and temples across the Emirates serving diverse communities.

Here is a guide to 13 of the main houses of worship for the Jewish, Christian and Hindu faiths across the UAE.

Abu Dhabi

1. Abrahamic Family House

Opened to the public earlier this year, the Abrahamic Family House is home to the Moses Ben Maimon Synagogue, the Catholic St Francis Church and Eminence Ahmed El-Tayeb Mosque.

Regular prayer services are already under way, while a programme of events is being planned for across the site.

Jacques Chirac St, Al Saadiyat Island Cultural District;

2. St Joseph’s Cathedral

Serving the UAE's catholic community since 1965, St Joseph's Cathedral is one of Abu Dhabi's oldest churches.

In addition to services in various languages, the church also has prayer groups and baptism ceremonies.

17th Street, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi;

3. St Andrew’s Church

The Anglican church has been celebrating mass in Abu Dhabi since 1968.

St Andrew's, which was on the Corniche before relocating to Mushrif, is renowned for its interfaith initiatives and calendar of family activities.

22 Al Barq Street, in Abu Dhabi;

4. Evangelical Community Church

The Protestant church has a multicultural community, with mass and classes conducted in English.

Um Salamah Street, Abu Dhabi;

5. Baps Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi

The Hindu temple will open in Abu Dhabi on February 10 for prayers.

It will mark the end of a five-year construction process, as part of which more than 2,000 artisans carved evocative pillars and columns in the Indian state of Rajasthan, before they were transferred to the site in the capital.

The temple is off the main E11 Sheikh Zayed motorway connecting Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

6. Gurudwara Mata Sahib Kaur

The Sikh house of worship features a main prayer hall and a spacious courtyard, as well as a communal kitchen where worshippers can eat a free vegetarian meal.

Gurudwara Mata Sahib Kaur is in M11, Mussafah.


7. St Mary’s Catholic Church

A hub for Dubai's Catholic community, St Mary's Church has a diverse parish with mass held in several languages, including English, Arabic, Swahili and Tagalog.

Oud Metha Street, Bur Dubai;

8. St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

At this place of worship in the Churches Complex in Jebel Ali, separate masses are held in more than a dozen languages, including English, Arabic, French, Italian, Korean and Tagalog.

The Churches Complex in Jebel Ali Village;

9. Holy Trinity Church

Serving Anglican worshippers for more than 50 years, the church has a Sunday School and Bible Study classes, as well as Saturday and Sunday mass.

Oud Metha Rd, Al Karama, Umm Hurair 2;

10. Hindu Temple Dubai

Inaugurated last year, the stark white Hindu temple stands out with marble hand carvings, metal latticework on the facade and tall brass spires.

Visitors of all nationalities and religious beliefs are welcome to visit to learn more about the Hindu faith as well as Indian heritage and customs.

Jebel Ali Village;

11. Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple

A multi-storey site partly inspired by India's famed Golden Temple.

Open since 2012, the temple is eye-catching, with architecture blending modern and traditional elements, and is open to the public from all faiths.

Jebel Ali Village; www.gurudwaradubai.coom


12. St Michael’s Church

A central point for the Catholic community of the northern emirate, the church serves different communities with mass held in languages including English, Arabic, Tagalog and Malayalam.

15 Abdullah Bin Anees Street, Al Yarmook;

Ras Al Khaimah

13. St Anthony of Padua Catholic Church

The church has been serving the faithful in Ras Al Khaimah since 2013.

Daily masses are held in English, while periodic masses are conducted in languages such as Ukrainian, Tamil, Sinhalese, Malayalam, Tagalog, Korean and Swahili.

Arabic masses are held on Fridays.

Al Jazeera Al Hamra;

Updated: August 24, 2023, 12:18 PM