New mosque in Abu Dhabi to honour Indonesian president

A street in the capital is also renamed after President Joko Widodo

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A mosque will be built in Abu Dhabi and a street name was changed in honour of the Indonesian president, following orders from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces said Al Maarid Street, behind Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, would be renamed President Joko Widodo Street, in recognition of his role in strengthening ties between the two countries.

The road was inaugurated on Tuesday by Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, in a ceremony coinciding with the anniversary of Mr Widodo’s election.

Husin Bagis, Indonesia's ambassador to the UAE, and other senior representatives attended the ceremony.

Mr Widodo shared an image of the inauguration on Twitter and praised his country's ties with the UAE.

"Behind the name of the street, there is hope that the relationship between the two countries will be stronger and more beneficial for the people," he said.

A mosque will be built in Abu Dhabi's diplomatic area and named after Mr Widodo.

Diplomatic ties between the UAE and Indonesia began in 1976.

The Indonesian Embassy opened in Abu Dhabi in October two years later, at the level of charge d'affaires.

Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father, visited the South-East Asian country in May 1990, a year before the UAE embassy opened in Jakarta.

Sheikh Mohamed visited Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, in July last year, further strengthening economic, political and cultural ties.

In January, Mr Widodo visited the Abu Dhabi, where he was welcomed by Sheikh Mohamed.

The pair witnessed the signing of 16 co-operation agreements between the two countries across a variety of sectors.

Trade between the two countries amounted to about $2.2 billion in 2018, and the UAE is among the top 18 global markets for Indonesian exports. Indonesia is among the top 30 countries exporting goods and products to the UAE.