Take a virtual tour of the UAE's first traditional Hindu temple

A new video has been released to provide a first look of the place of worship currently under construction in Abu Dhabi.

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

This is the stunning first glimpse of a landmark Hindu temple set to be a beacon of religious harmony in the UAE.

Eye-catching video footage has been released showing the eagerly-awaited place of worship rising majestically from the golden sands of the Abu Dhabi desert.

While it is an impressive artists' impression for now - the countdown is now well and truly on for the opening of the historic structure.

The first Hindu temple to ever be constructed in the UAE could open as early as next year and anticipation is building rapidly.

Thousands of worshippers flocked to Abu Dhabi on Saturday to take part in the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the temple.

Senior government ministers, ambassadors and religious devotees from around the world joined priests in a mahapuja – or grand prayer – to mark the occasion.

The video - released by the UAE government - features inspiring messages from the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

"For generations the Hindu Mandir shall inspire universal peace," reads the message from Mr Modi.

"Build a traditional stone temple of harmony for the whole world to see," Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said.

The footage takes viewers on a journey through the sprawling grounds of the temple, surrounded by lush greenery and waterways.

Large buildings surround the temple, likely to include planned amenities such as a visitors' centre, prayer halls and a vegetarian food court, while a steep grandstand faces the building, offering a spot for reflection and a perfect picture opportunity, too.

As the two-and-half-minute video draws to a close, the temple is described as a "spiritual oasis for global harmony".

The temple will be constructed on 5.5 hectares, 55,000 sq m, of land with an additional 5.5 hectares for parking.

The land was a gift from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Swami Brahmavihari, a senior Hindu priest handling international relations for Baps Swaminarayan Sanstha, the organisation building the temple, described the temple as “the largest place in the UAE for people of all faiths to come and experience Hindu culture and religion.”

“Every carving will have a meaning and showcase stories of harmony and spirituality,” he said.