PM Modi Inaugurates Abu Dhabi’s First Traditional Hindu Stone Temple

During his visit to the United Arab Emirates in February 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the country’s first traditional Hindu stone temple located in Abu Dhabi.

About the Temple

Name and Location

The temple is formally called the ‘BAPS Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi’ named after the organization, Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan (BAPS), that constructed it for worshippers. The complex is located at Abu Mureikha, just off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway.

Intricately Carved Stone Structure

Built entirely using hand-carved beige sandstone and white marble hauled from Rajasthan and Gujarat in India, the temple architecture represents ancient Hindu haveli styles displaying intricate decorative sculptures depicting deities, columns, arches and scenes from Hindu scriptures.

Seven Spires and Grand Interiors

Standing tall at an elevated platform, the temple features seven symbolic spires, five large domes and two minarets encapsulating sanctums, prayer halls, exhibition gallery, learning areas for children and youth activities. Intricately painted interiors provide spiritual focus for prayer and community events.

First Traditional Temple in UAE

While there are a few Hindu temple premises in UAE, this is the first stone temple constructed on such an expansive scale providing traditional architecture seen in ancient Indian places of worship as opposed to converted spaces.

Key Milestone for UAE’s Pluralism

The Abu Dhabi Hindu temple compound serves to highlight increasing cultural pluralism, harmony and human fraternity fostered by the UAE leadership among faith followers from across the world who have made the country home.

Collaboration Between India and UAE

  • Facilitated by PM Modi and UAE Government

The temple project was launched in 2015 amidst the growing strategic relationship championed by PM Modi and UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as a symbol of both nations’ values of compassion and tolerance.

  • Built by BAPS Organization

While Abu Dhabi donated the land, the complex was constructed over five years by skilled Indian temple artisans from BAPS, a global Hindu socio-spiritual organization headquartered in India having vast expertise in traditional temple building.

  • Support from Indian Expat Community

Donations amounting to USD 1 billion by over 3.5 million man hours of voluntary service from UAE’s Indian communities comprising Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists enabled realizing the grand project.

  • Boosting India-UAE Cultural Bonds

As a key pillar of the expanding bilateral relationship, the iconic temple strengthens cultural and civilizational bonds between two leading Asian powers that identify as pluralistic societies.

  • Strengthening India Partnership

As a vivid symbol of prosperous partnership between two leading Asian democracies, the temple is primed to boost connectivity between expats in UAE and their motherland tying civilizational links.

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