Dubai: The Tolerance Bridge was inaugurated at Dubai Water Canal on Thursday, marking the International Day for Tolerance, which falls on November 16 of every year.
Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak, Minister of State for Tolerance, unveiled a plaque marking the official inauguration of the bridge in the presence of a number of officials, students and young people.
On Wednesday, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued instructions to name one of Dubai’s most beautiful bridges as “Tolerance Bridge”, to mark the International Day for Tolerance.
“Our leadership has established a consistent approach based on making the value of “tolerance” an integral part of the society’s structure, values, thought and action.” Since its inception, the UAE has managed to be a magnet for millions of people from all over the world thanks to the values that it adopts which are based on coexistence and brotherhood, human tolerance and cultural convergence”, Shaikh Nahyan said.
He added: “We have more than 200 nationalities living and working in the UAE, a real wealth that we are proud of”. “The UAE has always been a convergence point for the peoples of the world and hub for tolerance and accepting the other and intellectual, cultural, religious and sectarian confluence.”
The Tolerance Bridge will witness cultural, artistic, entertainment and community programmes throughout the year, which will be conducted by the various community segments.
The unveiling of the plaque came a day after Shaikh Mohammad said tolerance was synonymous with the country and a fundamental value of the UAE citizens.
Also on Wednesday, Shaikh Nahyan announced a strategy to promote tolerance to foster a spirit of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and positive understating among people in the UAE.
The strategy will focus on four main themes, including community awareness, which will involve specific programmes targeting all community segments and building stronger community relations that support tolerance, peace and coexistence.
Third, the implementation of activities, events and celebrations throughout the year with a view to exemplifying the meaning of tolerance.
The fourth theme will involve conducting research and studies and launching indices to measure fulfilment of the objectives.
The Dubai Water Canal, which was opened in November last year, is one of Dubai’s most unique cultural landmarks linking Business Bay with Arabian Gulf.
In 2015, the UAE introduced the world’s first ministerial position for tolerance and adopted the National Tolerance Programme. In the same year, It also issued the Anti-Discrimination and Hatred Act, which criminalises acts of contempt of religions.
It also launched a number of initiatives to promote dialogue between peoples and religions, such as the International Institute for Tolerance, the Mohammad Bin Rashid Award for Tolerance, the Tolerance Volunteer Association, among others.