Al Ain’s Oasis hospital is the only place in the UAE that is not a church but has Bibles on open display – in three languages – for visitors and patients to read.
On the walls of the hospital are verses from the gospels and the first thing seen when visitors walk into the new main building is a verse in English and Arabic, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” Matthew 11:28.
“Oasis was founded in 1960 by Christian missionaries at the invitation of Sheikh Zayed, so through the years Oasis has always been a charity hospital with a strong Christian component that has been accepted and protected by the Ruling Family in Abu Dhabi,” said president Trey Hulsey.
And while one would expect to see mostly western, Christian patients, there are almost no westerners apart from the hospital’s doctors and staff.
Most of the patients are Emirati women in burqas and women in headscarfs. Every so often, one of the women will pick up a Bible and leaf through it and put it back. The hospital has a long history of accepting and taking care of everyone regardless of religion or nationality and it is this legacy, Mr Hulsey believes, that has made the people tolerant, loving and accepting of them.