President Sheikh Mohamed sends warm Christmas greetings to all

UAE leader wished residents and their families well in a social media post

President Sheikh Mohamed sent a warm Christmas message of peace and wellbeing. Reuters
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President Sheikh Mohamed has sent a Christmas message of "peace and wellbeing" to Christians in the Emirates and across the world.

He wished residents and their families well in a post on social media.

"To all those celebrating Christmas in the UAE and around the world, I wish you a blessed day," Sheikh Mohamed wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

"May this occasion usher in peace and wellbeing for you and your loved ones."

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, also delivered an uplifting message in celebration of the season of goodwill.

"Congratulations to those celebrating Christmas. May the world be blessed with goodness and love every year," Sheikh Mohammed wrote on X.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, also shared his warm wishes for those celebrating the holidays with a post shared on X.

"Merry Christmas," he wrote on Monday.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, wished peace upon everyone in the Emirates and around the world who are celebrating Christmas.

"Warm wishes from Dubai to the world, Merry Christmas and happy holidays to those celebrating," he wrote.

Christmas is celebrated by about two billion people across the world.

It is one of the important dates in the calendar for a large number of expatriates across the Emirates.

Christians across the Emirates filed into churches and stood outside chapels to listen in on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services.

Thousands gathered to celebrate the festive season and look ahead to the New Year.

Services offered people an opportunity to reflect on a challenging 2023, not least the ongoing crisis in Gaza.

About 1,500 people joined together to pray and attend festivities at St Mary's Catholic Church in Dubai on Monday morning.

Families took photos with the nativity scene outside the church, lit candles, sang hymns and prayed together.

The church – which is the largest in the emirate and was established in 1967 – is expecting tens of thousands to attend services over the festive period this week.

Residents also turned out in numbers to pray together at St Joseph's Cathedral in Abu Dhabi on Christmas Eve on Sunday night.

The church hosted a special outdoor midnight Mass where a choir dressed in red and black sang hymns during the ceremony.

Some worshippers lit candles, while others took in the nativity scenes and large decorated Christmas tree.

Christmas services around the world – in pictures

Updated: December 25, 2023, 2:41 PM