News | UAE

First multi-faith crematorium in UAE to open in Al Ain

Purpose-built facility to cater to all non-Muslim communities

  • By Aftab Kazmi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 12:01 October 16, 2011

The cemetery occupies 40,000 square metres and has a facilities building
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • The cemetery occupies 40,000 square metres and has a facilities building, including a church, a waiting room, and chambers of municipality services.

Al Ain: The new crematorium in Al Foah district in Al Ain will shortly be available to the non-Muslim community with purpose built facilities meeting the requirements of different faiths.

The graveyard will not be limited by visa restrictions and serve people of all non-Muslim faiths residing anywhere in the country, the management of the facility said on Thursday.

Built by Al Ain Municipality, the cemetery occupies 40,000 square metres and has a facilities building including a church, a waiting room, and chambers of municipality services. It is equipped to serve all non-Muslim communities and allow performing of all their rites including cremation in accordance with the environmental best practices.

The Anglican Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf, Right Reverend Michael Lewis on Thursday blessed the chapel at the crematorium that will be dedicated on behalf of the Anglican community to St Thomas. The ceremony was attended by representatives of different faiths.

Don Fox, manager of the crematorium, said every effort had been made to create an unshakeable air of understanding and dignity among all non-Muslims who would be using this burial ground. The graveyard is located some 15km away in the north of the city.

Complicated

Speaking on the occasion, Fox said coping with the loss of a family member or friend is always a difficult time, but the bereavement process is unquestionably further complicated for non-Muslims living in the UAE due to the different cultures and local procedures.

There is also a vast amount of paperwork as well as a general lack of knowledge on how to handle this complicated process, said Fox who has more than 20 years' experience of working with Abu Dhabi mortuary.

Gopi Pandiath, a spokesman for the Indian Social Centre in Al Ain, said it is a relief for members of the Indian community, who wish to be cremated here in the UAE. "This has always been a complicated process but we now have access to this new quality service close to home," he said.

Reverend Andrew Thompson, the chaplain at St Andrew's Church in Abu Dhabi, said the project reflects the generous hospitality of the UAE authorities. It was a much-needed facility for the establishment of which his predecessor Father Clive Windebank worked with Al Ain Municipality.

The crematorium is audited for quality assurance and will be operated in accordance with the highest European standards.

Extensive services

The Al Foah Crematorium is part of the wider portfolio offered by Al Foah Funeral Services.

Repatriation to and from overseas destinations, offered to all faiths and nationalities.
End to end funeral services provided for all non-Muslim residents of the UAE.
Managing of the paperwork required for either repatriation, cremation or burial.
 

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