In celebration of the UAE’s Year of Tolerance, and in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Airports, the Department of Community Development (DCD) in Abu Dhabi has officially inaugurated the first multi-faith prayer room at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). The new prayer room provides passengers of all faiths with a quiet and reflective space located away from the main airport to gather and practice their faith.
The inauguration of the multi-faith prayer room was attended by key representatives from Abu Dhabi Airports and the Department of Community Development, including Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan Abu Dhabi Airports Chairman, Bryan Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports; Ahmed Juma Al Shamsi, Acting Chief Operations Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports; and His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development.
This initiative is in line with DCD's wider efforts to provide a decent and dignified life for all those who call Abu Dhabi home. Part of this is ensuring that worshipers from all religions have the appropriate facilities to practice their faith. Along with the many other religious facilities throughout Abu Dhabi, the room at AUH will be dedicated to passengers, transit travelers, and airport staff.
Article 32 of the UAE’s charter stipulates the freedom to exercise religious worship in accordance with established customs, provided that it does not conflict with public policy or violate public morals.
Commenting on the occasion, His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development said: “The Department aims to enhance the UAE’s position as an international hub for tolerance, moderation, and peaceful coexistence.”
Bryan Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “As a global hub, we welcome passengers from all walks of life, and our multi-faith prayer room initiative seeks to accommodate the needs of our passengers from all faiths.”
“Abu Dhabi Airports’ new corporate values, which were launched last October, emphasize and reflect the core beliefs of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was known globally for accepting every individual and respecting different cultures. This multi-faith prayer room is a representation of these values, which are being implemented by our staff members throughout our activities and operations,” added Thompson.
One of the DCD’s mandates is to develop the legal framework regulating and licensing the establishment of places of worship and public societies, clubs, and sporting institutions, and assures the compliance of these institutions with regulations and standards.