Wor­ship­pers wel­come new tem­ple

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @Ma­hak_LFC ma­hak@7days.ae

Hindu fam­i­lies say they are look­ing for­ward to the ar­rival of Abu Dhabi’s first tem­ple in what will be a boost for the com­mu­nity.

The place of wor­ship will be lo­cated in the Al Wathba area of the cap­i­tal and be built on 20,000sqm of land.

In­dian busi­ness­man BR Shetty, who is the chair­man of the Tem­ple co­or­di­na­tion com­mit­tee, ear­lier this month said the fa­cil­ity will be fin­ished by the end of 2017.

The plans were first re­vealed when In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi vis­ited the UAE in Au­gust 2015.At present, there is only one tem­ple for Hindu wor­ship­pers in the UAE, in Bur Dubai.

In­dian ex­pat Ge­hanaa Rat­nani, 43, (pic­tured) said the tem­ple’s ar­rival By Ma­hak Man­nan is a dream come true for her fam­ily. She said: “I have been fol­low­ing the story since the prime min­is­ter vis­ited and am very happy we fi­nally have a time set for its com­ple­tion. “There are so many oc­ca­sions that we would like to visit the tem­ple for: a birth­day, all our fes­ti­vals and pu­jas. Of­ten we have not been able to at­tend. “We usu­ally do com­mu­nity gath­er­ings on a smaller scale to pray to­gether, but the feel­ing of be­ing able to cel­e­brate and pray in a tem­ple in my city is out of the world.”

Mean­while, Jayan­thi Prasad, 45, who has lived in Abu Dhabi for more than 20 years, said: “We think of Abu Dhabi as our home and this adds a lot of value to that feel­ing.

“More­over, I can now con­trib­ute and vol­un­teer to­wards our com­mu­nity through the tem­ple.”

Swati Gadgil, 42, a mother of two and teacher in Abu Dhabi, said her chil­dren have grown up only oc­ca­sion­ally vis­it­ing the tem­ple in Dubai.

She added: “It will al­low my young kids to be closer to their re­li­gion and the tra­di­tions and roots we grew up with.”

RITUAL: Wor­ship­pers will be al­lowed to use idols in the tem­ple, which is not per­mit­ted at prayer groups in com­mu­nity cen­tres

HAPPY: Ge­hanaa Rat­nani is look­ing for­ward to vis­it­ing the new Abu Dhabi tem­ple

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