Dubai: The Gurunanak Darbar has emerged as a major tourist destination in Dubai with over 800,000 visitors eating out of its community kitchen (langar) since its inception last year, its chairman Surender S. Khandari said.
As the Sikh temple marks its first anniversary this weekend with a series of programmes, Khandari thanked the local authorities for their support in developing the bustling community centre which he said has also become a must-see for many tourists. He said: “We are very grateful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai for his unstinted support.”
Khandari said the temple receives visitors from across nationalities and countries – from Europe and the Americas to the Far East and Australia. “On New Year’s Day, we had over 16,000 people in the temple, double the average number we get on Fridays. The previous night, around 7,000 people were here as a special kirtan was held from 7.30 pm to 1.30 am. It was a great feeling as families with children rang in the New Year with a sense of peace and prayer.”
Khandari said irrespective of the numbers, the gurudwara’s community kitchen churns out free vegetarian food for all. “We have a 4,000 sq ft state-of-the-art industrial kitchen with five separate stores to cater to our visitors. The meal served is basic but sumptuous and comprises salad, sabzi (vegetable), dal (lentil), roti (bread) and rice. We also serve fruits or a sweet dish.”
The three-day anniversary celebrations from January 17 to 19 will be attended by several dignitaries and overseas guests, besides residents, he added.