AHMEDABAD: Expressing gratitude to the rulers of the United Arab Emirates(UAE) for gifting a piece of land to build a Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha today said the "noble gesture creates hope for unity in diversity".
The organisation, in a statement, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would perform the ground breaking ceremony of this first ever Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi tomorrow.
In a statement, Sadhu Brahmaviharidas, the chief spokesperson of the BAPS (Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha) Swaminarayan Sanstha, thanked the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi for gifting the land to BAPS, saying the decision reflected the "guiding vision of tolerance and harmony of the founding fathers of the UAE".
The temple, expected to be completed by 2020, will be built at Abu Mureikhah, off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Highway, and will incorporate all aspects and features of a traditional Hindu temple, he said, adding that the stones would be carved by artisans in India and assembled in the UAE.
The temple complex will have a visitors' centre, prayer halls, exhibition centre, learning areas, sports area for children and youths, thematic gardens, water features and a food court, and would be open to people of all beliefs, he informed.
The organisation said that that it was honoured and humbled to have been invited and entrusted to design, construct and manage the temple by the rulers of the UAE and the Indian government.
"The generous gift of land for a Hindu temple by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, UAE, is a strong and sound message to the world that cultural and spiritual inclusiveness is the way forward for the global harmony," Brahmaviharidas, who coordinates the activities of the organisation in the Middle East, said in the statement.
"We are sincerely grateful and indebted to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, as well as the people of both nations, for their commitment towards peace and harmony" he said.
"Especially in the 21st century, when the world is fragmenting for frivolous reasons, this timely noble gesture creates hope for unity in diversity.
It reinforces the guiding vision of tolerance and harmony of the founding fathers of the UAE" he said.
It will facilitate the traditional practice of the Hindu faith and serve over 3.3 million Indians residing in that country, and the millions of international tourists visiting the UAE annually, the statement added.