The UAE’s capital city, Abu Dhabi, has always been at the forefront of religious tolerance and interfaith harmony. From the legal status granted to churches in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain to the construction of the first Hindu temple, Abu Dhabi has spared no effort to embrace the diversity of its residents. Now, taking it a step further in the Year of Tolerance, a new interfaith landmark will be built in Abu Dhabi, called the Abrahamic House of Fraternity. The historic project was announced at the recent meeting of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity in New York.
Find out all about the Abrahamic House Abu Dhabi, what the landmark will consist of, the opening date and more!
WHAT IS THE ABRAHAMIC HOUSE OF FRATERNITY?
Also known as the Abrahamic Family House, this will be a unique project that will symbolise religious tolerance by bringing together a mosque, a church and a synagogue, all in one location! This historic landmark will be one of the first projects that will reflect the ideals of the Document on Human Fraternity, which was signed in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar.
Named after the Prophet Abraham, the project will consist of three beautiful buildings that will be connected by a central garden and courtyard, while also having separate entrances for the three buildings. While the mosque, church and synagogue in the Abrahamic Family House will have the same dimensions, each of the buildings will boast unique interiors inspired by the faith’s traditions.
These buildings will also point towards the direction that is specific to that faith: the mosque will point towards the Holy Kaaba, the altar in the church will point towards the East and the podium in the synagogue will point towards the Holy Land. Visitors will be able to observe religious services, listen to scriptures and take part in religious ceremonies in each of the places of worship.
WHAT ELSE CAN VISITORS SEE AT THE ABRAHAMIC FAMILY HOUSE?
But it’s not just houses of worship that will be included in the Abrahamic Family House UAE! These buildings will be connected by a lush garden in the middle, which will have a raised podium, from where visitors will be able to look into all three of the buildings at once. Moreover, the Abrahamic House of Fraternity UAE will also consist of a museum and educational centre underneath the garden for visitors to explore and learn from.
The Abrahamic House Abu Dhabi is designed by the award-winning British architect, Sir David Adjaye OBE. He has previously designed buildings like the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.
WHERE WILL THE ABRAHAMIC FAMILY HOUSE BE LOCATED?
The Abrahamic House of Fraternity will be located on Saadiyat Island, the cultural hotspot of Abu Dhabi. This interfaith site will be built next to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which itself is a major attraction on the island.
WHAT IS THE OPENING DATE FOR THE ABRAHAMIC HOUSE ABU DHABI?
While there is no specific opening date confirmed yet for the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi, it is expected to be completed by the year 2022. Construction for the project will begin on Saadiyat Island in 2020.
2022 will also see the completion of Abu Dhabi’s first traditional Hindu temple, which will be partially open to worshippers in 2020.
WHAT DOES THE NEW ABRAHAMIC FAMILY HOUSE MEAN FOR ABU DHABI?
The upcoming Abrahamic House of Fraternity only heightens the appeal of Abu Dhabi as a place to live for people across the world. The religious site will be a symbol of the values of Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE: that this country can be a home for people of all backgrounds and faiths. It’s another step in the initiatives that Abu Dhabi has taken to further position itself as one of the best places to live, from announcing freehold ownership for foreign investors to introducing long-term visas for investors and executive professionals.
As a one-of-a-kind interfaith site, the Abrahamic Family House UAE will also boost tourism to Saadiyat Island, with tourists and residents flocking to see the site and explore the various attractions around it. The landmark is also sure to join the list of famous mosques in the UAE when completed.
That brings an end to our guide to the Abrahamic House of Fraternity in Abu Dhabi. Stay tuned to MyBayut for more updates on this unique development! Find out about other churches and temples in the neighbouring emirate of Dubai. There are also several temples in Bur Dubai, which is home to a large expat population.
Note: Cover image was taken from the official website of Emirates News Agency