Abu Dhabi airport opens multi-faith prayer room

New room to provide quiet space for people of all faiths to pray

A multi-faith prayer room has opened at Abu Dhabi International Airport to cater to travellers and staff of all religions. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Airports
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The first multi-faith prayer room at Abu Dhabi International Airport opened on Sunday.

The new room aims to provide passengers of all faiths a quiet space, away from the main airport, to practice their religion.

The Department of Community Development Abu Dhabi, who opened the prayer room in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Airports, said the initiative was part of wider efforts in the UAE to promote religious tolerance.

The facility will be available for passengers, transit travellers and airport staff.

"The department aims to enhance the UAE’s position as an international hub for tolerance, moderation, and peaceful coexistence," said Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, chairman of DCD.

"We are pleased to [...] welcome passengers of all faiths from all over the world to Abu Dhabi and create spaces for them to practice their faith."

Last week, DCD said it was set to licence 19 non-Muslim places of worship across Abu Dhabi. Churches, temples and gurudwaras for Sikhs, for example, are all now regulated by DCD to assist their day-to-day running.

There are currently 17 Christian churches of varying denominations across Abu Dhabi as well as one gurudwara.

A Hindu temple in the capital, which is due to open for worship in 2022, has already been granted its licence.

2019, the Year of Tolerance, began with strong show of inter-faith unity after the head of the Catholic church and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar paid a visit to the UAE.

During the visit of Pope Francis and Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb to Abu Dhabi, the pair signed the foundation stone for an Abrahamic Family House to be built in the capital.

Abraham is a revered prophet in Islam, Judaism and Christianity.