Abu Dhabi road closures for Pope Francis visit announced

Roads will be closed for 18 hours on Tuesday to make way for buses taking worshippers to Mass

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Roads will be closed around Zayed Sports City on Tuesday ahead of Pope Francis's public Mass.

Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Street and Saif Ghubash Street will be closed in both directions from midnight to 6pm on Tuesday, the Department of Transport said on Sunday.

Schools across the UAE will also be closed on Tuesday, the Ministry of Human Resources announced.

Pope Francis is travelling to the UAE for a historic visit in which he will be the first pontiff to visit the Gulf.

Trucks will be banned from Abu Dhabi island from 6pm on Monday to 6pm on Tuesday.

Changes to bus services on Abu Dhabi island were also announced. The DoT said that, from 3pm on Monday, the frequency of bus services will drop to one per hour. The reduced service will continue until 3pm on Tuesday, after which usual services will resume.

About 1,000 buses will take worshippers from Dubai to Abu Dhabi for the public Mass.

Buses will begin leaving from dedicated transport hubs in Dubai from 11pm, with the stadium gates set to open at 5am.

Buses in Abu Dhabi will leave from the car park outside Nations Tower, Dalma Street opposite Emirates National School for boys, a sand lot opposite KM Trading on 16th Street in Mussaffah, and a car park outside Lake Ruwais.

Those attending Mass who live in Al Ain can board buses from a car park two blocks west of Hazza bin Zayed Stadium. Their journey to Zayed Sports City stadium will take two hours.

Meanwhile, preparations are under way at the stadium with workers taking down Asian Football Cup livery to replace it with signs for the Pope's visit.

About 135,000 people are expected to attend the Mass.