Mass to begin, dubai
This is the favourite spot for those trying to get the mandatory Christmas selfie Image Credit: Evangeline Elsa/Gulf News

Dubai: Many christians in the UAE are gathering at various churches in the country to attend the Christmas mass and services tonight.

Thousands flocked to Dubai’s St Mary’s Catholic Church as early as 9pm, to secure a place to attend the high solemn mass at midnight.

‪The large church compound in Oud Metha is decked up in Christmas lights and a giant tree. ‬

‪The parking area around the church has been cordoned off, requiring attendees to park in the surrounding areas. ‬

‪Many took the metro to the Oud Metha station close by, and walked to the church. ‬

On the walk towards the church, hawkers wearing Santa hats tried to sell Christmas cakes from vans parked on the sides.

Within the church compound, a well lit nativity scene, portraying the birth of Christ, seemed to be the favourite spot for those trying to get the mandatory Christmas selfie.

Meanwhile,  His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, wished residents a cheerful Christmas. He tweeted: “From the UAE, the land founded in the spirit of tolerance, love and coexistence, we congratulate Christians across the world and wish them peace and happiness in celebrating Christmas.”

Back at St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral Dubai, also in Oud Metha, the Christmas mass began at 10pm; it seemed like a sea of people had descended to celebrate.

Orthodox Church
Orthodox Church mass led by Rev. Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II Image Credit: Anil Chacko/Gulf News Reader

10:55pm carols start at St. Thomas Orthodox Church.

Gulf News goes live at St Mary's.