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Abu Dhabi

A new multi-faith prayer was inaugurated at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

The facility is part of an initiative launched by the Department of Community Development (DCD) to foster respect for all faiths. It is also the first multi-faith prayer room at a healthcare facility in the capital.

Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, head of the DCD, inaugurated the prayer room along with Abdulla Al Shamsi, head of Mubadala Healthcare, which owns the hospital.

“Abu Dhabi has a reputation as a global center of peace, tolerance and human rights, in which the individual enjoys all their rights to live and work with dignity. This multi-faith prayer room at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is an excellent example of a community coming together, with the facility being inaugurated in accordance with the UAE laws and regulations while meeting international standards,” Dr Al Khaili said.

“A hospital calls for multi-faith prayer rooms, especially as family members often need space for meditation and prayer when taking care of a loved one,” he told Gulf News.

The DCD began issuing licenses this year for the establishment of multi-faith prayers rooms in the emirate, and the first such facility was opened at the Abu Dhabi International Airport in June.

Al Khaili added that more such prayer rooms will be established over the coming year.

“We are also equipping the rooms with tablets where users can leave us feedback on any changes or additions they would like to see,” he added.

According to Rakesh Suri, chief executive officer at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, the hospital saw 3,000 international patients in 2019 alone.

“This number is the same as the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and speaks volumes about Abu Dhabi’s attractiveness as a healthcare provider for people from across the world. As the number of medical tourists grows, having a multi-faith prayer room becomes even more essential, both for the patients and their families and for our medical professionals,” Suri said.

The hospital also boasts more than 25 men’s and women’s prayer rooms for Muslim worshippers.