Illustrative ourposes Image Credit: Gulf News archives

What you need to know:

  • Pope Francis visited the UAE today and was welcomed by the Rulers of the land.
  • Reader discusses UAE as the country of tolerance.

‘Tolerance’ is the need of the hour. It is the essence of peaceful co-existence of mankind, especially in the present times when the very co-existence is being challenged by fanatics. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the most progressive, and a beautiful nation I have seen.

The UAE is home to eight million expats from more than 200 countries. This year will be observed as The Year of Tolerance in the UAE and the government is taking crucial steps to promote tolerant values in the country. The aim is to eradicate ideological, cultural and religious bigotry from society and promote UAE as a global capital of tolerance.

The UAE government’s gestures in the recent past indicates its intentions when it declared the construction of a grand Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, and allowed the construction of a Sikh gurudwara in Dubai. The current visit of Pope Francis is encouraging and places emphasis on the UAE’s mission of tolerance.

The government has launched many programs and has taken up a number of initiatives to further promote tolerance. For example, they have introduced the ‘National Tolerance Program’, the anti-discrimination and anti-hatred law and a minister of State for Tolerance has been appointed as well. Dubai has named its newly built iconic bridge over the Dubai Canal as the Tolerance Bridge.

A commendable level of openness and understanding of cultures has made the Emirates a welcome oasis for the enterprising. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makhdum, Vice President and Prime minister of UAE and ruler of Dubai has laid out a road map for the future success of the nation in an eight-point plan.

Let’s hope that all of us continue to give meaning to the word “tolerance” and learn to value each and every person in our society irrespective of his faith, colour or nationality.

- The reader is a writer based in Dubai.