People queue up outside the Shiva Temple at Bur Dubai Creek. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Dubai: An iconic temple complex in Bur Dubai, which is 75-year-old, will close its doors forever to worshippers in January 2024, the temple management confirmed to Gulf News on Friday.

The Sindhi Guru Darbar temple complex housing Bur Dubai Shiv Mandir and the Gurudwara will be closing its doors to all worshippers from January 3. Worshippers will now be required to visit the new Hindu Temple Dubai that opened in Jebel Ali last year.

“We have put up notices about it in the temple premises,” Vasu Shroff, the head of the committee that runs the complex, told Gulf News over the phone.

“It is not fake news. It is true,” he said, confirming the messages being circulated on social media.

One such message stated “all the Darshans and Pooja can be done at the New Hindu Mandir Jebel Ali from January 3.”

vasu shroff-1702043116716
Vasu Shroff

‘Will miss the landmark’

“Will miss the narrow lanes of this famous landmark and the lanes I spent my childhood days. Will miss the large crowd on auspicious days of Maha Shivratri and other festivals. The flower shops and other shops selling Pooja items won’t be the same. Will miss you Shiv Mandir & Gurudwara of Bur Dubai,” it added.

Massive crowds

The Shiva Mandir complex was established in 1958 and has been operating in the Meena Bazaar area all these years, according to Shroff.

“Around 5,000 people visit the Bur Dubai temple over the weekends and the number goes up to around 100,000 during festivities. The place tends to get very congested and managing the crowds can be a challenge sometimes,” Shroff had said before the temple management got the approval from the government to build a new temple in Jebel Ali.

Read More

After the new Hindu Temple Dubai officially opened in October 2022, there were discussions about keeping the old temple as a heritage site. Shroff did not elaborate on that plan on Friday.

Krishna Temple to stay

In the same locality, there is a Krishna Temple (Shreenathji Haveli), which according to the management, had opened way back in 1902 with records showing its existence since 1935.

The Krishna Temple, which comes immediately after the mosque when one enters the temple area, will remain open, a senior member of the management told Gulf News on Friday evening.

“We are not moving. We are still in the same place,” said Lalit Karani, former chairman and a member of the management committee.