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Modi to lay foundation stone for Abu Dhabi's first Indian temple

IANS  |  Abu Dhabi 

Indian will on Sunday lay the foundation stone for the first in the United Arab Emirates' capital, which is home to a huge Indian diaspora.

This is Modi's second visit to the UAE after August 2015.

He was scheduled to arrive here in the evening.

"The first in will come up on 55,000 square metres of land and the groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday will be a historic event," said Indian to the UAE Navdeep Singh

The Indian leader will be laying the foundation stone for the temple from the Opera House via He will also hold a meeting there with the Indian community.

"The occasion is going to be historic... because it will also see the commencement of the first in We are very pleased that we have received 55,000 square metres of land near off the Dubai-Sheikh Zayed Highway," said

The temple's construction will be completed by 2020, and open to people of all religious backgrounds.

It will be the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East, said a from the BAPS Swaminarayanan Sanstha that is entrusted with the design, construction and management of the temple.

The temple will be hand-carved by Indian temple artisans and assembled in the UAE, said the BAPS

The UAE has two Hindu temples which are located in Devotees from and other emirates have to drive to for prayers and offerings.

The temple compound will include a visitors' centre, prayer halls, exhibition centre, learning areas, sports area for children and youths, thematic gardens, water features, a food court, a books and gift shop and other facilities.

Sadhu Brahmaviharidas, the of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, said the generous gift of land for a by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown of and Deputy Supreme of the UAE Armed Forces, "was a strong and sound message to the world that cultural and spiritual inclusiveness is the way

It will replicate the in and the one under construction in New Jersey, a trust member told

BAPS manages 1,200 temples in India, UK, the US, Australia, and

Meanwhile, the UAE's iconic buildings like the the Burj Khalifa, Frame, bulding and the were lit up in colours of India's flag ahead of Modi's visit to the country.

Modi's high-level engagements here include bilateral meetings with top UAE leaders and a keynote address at the World Government Summit in on Sunday, in which is the guest country.

Earlier in the day, was in where he received a rousing welcome on the first visit by an Indian to Palestine.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, February 10 2018. 19:08 IST