Abu Dhabi: A multi-faith prayer room has officially been opened at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), it was announced on Sunday.
The room is dedicated to passengers, transit travellers, and airport staff, providing a quiet space for them to gather and practice their faith.
The development comes in celebration of the UAE’s Year of Tolerance (2019), in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Airports and Department of Community Development (DCD).
The inauguration of the multi-faith prayer room was attended by top officials, including Shaikh Mohammad Bin Hamad Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Airports Chairman; Bryan Thompson, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports; and Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, chairman of DCD.
The initiative is in line with DCD’s wider efforts to provide a dignified life for all those who call Abu Dhabi home. Part of this is ensuring that worshipers from all religions have the appropriate facilities to practice their faith. Along with the many other religious facilities throughout Abu Dhabi, the room at AUH will be dedicated to travellers and staff.
Hub of tolerance
Article 32 of the UAE’s charter stipulates the freedom to exercise religious worship in accordance with established customs, provided that it does not conflict with public policy or violate public morals.
Dr Al Khaili said: “The department aims to enhance the UAE’s position as an international hub for tolerance, moderation, and peaceful coexistence.”
Thompson said: “As a global hub, we welcome passengers from all walks of life, and our multi-faith prayer room initiative seeks to accommodate the needs of our passengers from all faiths.”
He added: “Abu Dhabi Airports’ new corporate values, which were launched last October, emphasise and reflect the core beliefs of the late founding father of the UAE, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was known globally for accepting every individual and respecting different cultures.
“This multi-faith prayer room is a representation of these values, which are being implemented by our staff members throughout our activities and operations.”
One of the DCD’s mandates is to develop the legal framework regulating and licensing the establishment of places of worship and public societies, clubs, and sporting institutions, and assures the compliance of these institutions with regulations and standards.