Pope Francis Is Coming To The UAE

Pope Francis Is Coming To The UAE

Pope Francis plans to visit the United Arab Emirates in February to push for Christian-Muslim dialogue and peace in the first-ever papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula.

While Francis has visited other Muslim-majority nations, including Egypt, Turkey and Jordan, the UAE trip will mark the first pastoral visit by a pope to the Arabian Peninsula.

Pope Francis will visit Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates from February 3 to 5, where he will take part in an worldwide "interfaith" meeting, the Vatican said Thursday. "We look forward to a historic visit, through which we will seek dialogue on the peaceful coexistence among peoples". "Pope Francis visiting the Arab world is a ideal example of the culture of encounter", Burke said.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke noted that the trip, like one previous year to Egypt, shows the importance Francis places on inter-religious dialogue.

"The generosity of the UAE government has also been extended in making it possible to celebrate a Mass, which will be on February 5 at a public venue in Abu Dhabi".

Many of the Catholics are workers from Africa, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Philippines, though some are locals.

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Almost 80 per cent of the population of the UAE is Muslim, while Christians constitute around nine per cent, according to the Catholic News Agency. In a December 6 statement, he said a "special team" would be working "closely" with the UAE authorities to ensure the visit runs as smoothly as possible. "These are warm and kind gestures that we appreciate and acknowledge".

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced the news on Twitter on Thursday.

Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed also tweeted a welcome to the head of the Catholic Church'He is a symbol of peace, tolerance and the promotion of brotherhood.

But it's the UAE's large immigrant Catholic and Christian population that will be most enthusiastic about the news, having long wished for a pope to visit the region.

The pope's trip to the UAE will come ahead of a visit in March to Morocco.

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