With the Christian community growing in Dubai, the emirate has seen the establishment of several churches. One such is the Dubai Mar Thoma Church, also known as ‘Dubai Marthoma Church’, located in Jebel Ali. Over 50 years old, the church is an important centre for the Marthomite community in Dubai, offering Holy Communion services, Sunday School, choirs and dedicated organisations for women and youth.
Please note that the Dubai Mar Thoma Church Parish is currently closed as a precautionary measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
History of the Dubai Mar Thoma Church
In the 1960s, Dubai witnessed an influx of residents from India, seeking better trade and job prospects, which included a number of Christians from Kerala. Thus, in 1969, the Dubai Mar Thoma Church was established by 130 Marthomites, who met as a group in the Our Own English School in Bur Dubai.
As the church members grew in number, the Dubai Mar Thoma Church moved its communion services from the school to the compound of the Holy Trinity Church in Oud Metha. However, in 1999, the Government of Dubai granted 20,000 sq.ft of land to construct the Dubai Mar Thoma Parish, and the first service was held on the new premises in 2001.
Today, the Dubai Mar Thoma Parish has one of the largest congregations of the church across the globe, with more than 2,400 member families. In November 2018, the parish began its year-long celebrations for completing 50 years of the congregation in the UAE.
Worship service and programmes at Dubai Mar Thoma Church
The Mar Thoma Church holds Holy Communion services in English and Malayalam, as well as a variety of other activities and programmes for members:
Please note that the timings for the church’s services and activities may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these activities are now being conducted online.
The Dubai Mar Thoma Church Sunday School for children is held after the holy communion service on Fridays and Saturdays for members, which involves various activities and festivals such as art festivals, summer camps and vacation Bible schools.
The Sunday School by Dubai Mar Thoma Church Jebel Ali is currently being held online, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Take a look at the timings for the Dubai Mar Thoma Sunday School:
- Friday and Saturday: 10:30 am onwards
Sevika Sangham is another essential organisation within the Mar Thoma Church, for all the women who are part of the church. Dubai Mar Thoma’s Sevika Sangham organises Talent’s Day, Christmas programmes, family picnics and competitions for members.
The Dubai Mar Thoma Church Sevika Sangham meets up on Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings in different locations:
- Saturday: Al Maktoum A / B / Naif Road / Frij Murar / Kuwait Hospital Area / Clock Tower/ Hor Al Anz and Garden City
- Sunday: Jebel Ali Ind. Area / Jebel Ali FZ / Al Quoz / Gardens / Al Barsha / Al Warqa / Rashidiya/ International City
- Monday: Jumeirah / Satwa / Karama A / B / C / Bur Dubai A / B / Holy Trinity Area
- Monday: Al Shaab A / B / Abu Hail – Mamzar / Al Nahda Dubai / Al Qusais A / B / Muhaisnah A / B / Al Twar
- First Sunday (Sharjah and Ajman): Al Nahda / Al Khan / King Faisal Street / Rolla / Ajman
Sevika Sangham also holds a combined meeting at the Holy Trinity Church on the fourth Monday of every month. The organisation also hosts a fasting prayer on every second, third and fourth Wednesdays from 9.30 am to 11.30 am, at Holy Trinity Church.
The Marthoma Parish in Dubai also hosts practice for the Malayalam-language parish choir on every Friday at the Easow Mar Timotheos Hall.
- Friday: 12:30 pm onwards
The church also organises a Yuvajana Sakhyam, which is open to all the parish youth. This is the Youth Wing of the Mar Thoma Church, which aims to increase young people’s knowledge of their faith and values and get them to be more involved in the community.
The Dubai Mar Thoma Yuvajana Sakhyam organises various activities and programmes, such as career guidance workshops, community outings, sports tournaments and charity initiatives. The Yuvajana Sakhyam currently has online meetings every Wednesday at 08:30 pm.
The Yuvajana Sakhyam at Mar Thoma Church also meets at the Bethanya Hall every Friday after the communion service.
- Friday: 11:00 am onwards
Aside from this, Dubai Marthoma Church also organises Youth and Senior Citizen’s Fellowship programmes for church members.
Dubai Mar Thoma Church Timings for Holy Communion Services
Take a look below at the timings for Dubai Mar Thoma Church services:
- Every Thursday: 08:00 pm
- Every Friday: 08:00 am
- Every Friday: 12:30 pm
The Matin’s Service (English) at Dubai Mar Thoma Church is held every third or fifth Friday at 12:30 pm.
Dubai Mar Thoma Church Location
The Mar Thoma Parish in Dubai is located in the Jebel Ali area, near the Guru Nanak Darbar. The church is easily accessible for those living in neighbouring communities such as The Gardens, Discovery Gardens and Al Furjan.
Those who wish to visit the Mar Thoma Church in Dubai can easily access the church by car and public transport. The Energy Station is the nearest Dubai Metro stop to the Mar Thoma Church. From there, visitors can catch the F44 RTA bus and get off at the stop for Dubai Evangelical Church Center.
Dubai Mar Thoma Parish Contact
If you require more information about the church’s services, activities and organisations, contact its office at 04-884-5233.
That’s our guide to the Mar Thoma Church in Jebel Ali. Over the years, the Keralite Mar Thoma community has grown in the UAE, leading to the establishment of the Sharjah Mar Thoma Church in 1977.
There are many other well-known churches in Dubai serving the emirate’s Christian community. The St. Mary’s Catholic Church is one of the city’s most popular and oldest churches, with masses in English, Arabic, French, Malayalam and more. The other notable Catholic church in Dubai is the St. Francis of Assisi Church, which is located next to Dubai Mar Thoma Church in Jebel Ali.