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Dubai Inaugurates New Gurdwara

by JAY B. HILOTIN

 

 

 

Sikhs visiting their new place of worship, the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Jebel Ali, have expressed deep gratitude to Dubai for giving them a plot of land on which to build the emirate's first official gurdwara.

The Dh73 million complex, which opened in January and adjoins a cluster of churches in Jebel Ali, has spacious halls and sports attention to detail following a three-year construction phase. Until recently, Dubai's Sikh community congregated at a gurdwara in Bur Dubai.

"B'hot achcha [very good]," said Paramjit Singh, 45.

"No words can express the gratitude I feel when I come to this gurdwara. We are very thankful to Dubai's ruler, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, for the land and the permission for us to have this place," said Paramjit, who has worked in Dubai for 12 years as a heavy equipment driver. 

The facility is fronted by a water body flowing around the façade.

With a total area of 100,000 sqft (approx 25,000 sq ft at each level), the new multi-storey centre was built with money donated by the Sikh community and has a dedicated floor for langar, an intermediate floor and two basement parking levels.

Visitors leave their shoes in racks by the two entrances. Washing areas and water closets are fitted with some of the world's best plumbing equipment brands.

Mauve-coloured carpet, chandeliers and modern acoustics lend a distinct touch to the column-free main diwan hall, topped by an 18-metre glass dome that offers generous lighting.

The main hall can accommodate up to 3,000 people at a time. And up to 600 people can eat together, sitting on a carpeted marble floor, served by volunteers who dole out free meals in the "langar" (dining hall) from about 7am till 11 pm every day. A modern kitchen is able to prepare 1,800 meals per hour and wash 1,200 plates and glasses an hour.

Parminder Singh, 22, a heavy equipment driver in Dubai from Hoshiarpur district in Punjab, said: "I try to come here whenever I can every day and volunteer my time. Of course, we are grateful for the religious tolerance in Dubai."

Satinder Singh, 45, a driving school instructor in Dubai who also helps tidy up the area, added: "I'm so happy. Whenever I am here. I feel like I'm in Amritsar's Darbar Sahb."

Representatives of the estimated 50,000 member Sikh community in the UAE echoed a common sentiment: "This is the first official Sikh house of worship in Dubai, and the whole community is extremely thankful to the Dubai government," said an official. 

 

[Courtesy: Gulf News. Edited for sikhchic.com]

February 2, 2012

Conversation about this article

1: Herminder Singh (Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India), February 02, 2012, 6:25 AM.

A good step by the sangat of Dubai.

2: Bhushan Kumar (Delhi, India), February 02, 2012, 6:40 AM.

Sab te vaddaa SatGur Nanak jin kal rakhee meri ...

3: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), February 02, 2012, 4:33 PM.

The respect I have been afforded throughout the Middle-East, with my dastaar, whether at the airports and fancy hotels or in the poorest areas in Dubai, Doha, Amman, etc., is awesome. This great new gurdwara is a welcome addition to their landscape, literally and metaphorically.

4: Charanjit Singh (Dubai), February 03, 2012, 12:02 AM.

I am thankful to Sheikh Mohammed who has open his heart and door for the entire Sikh community around the world to visit Dubai and offer their prayers at Guru Nanak Darbar!

5: Brijinder Singh Bhatia (Derby, United Kingdom), February 03, 2012, 3:51 AM.

Beautiful ... I cannot believe this. My sincere thanks and best wishes to the Dubai Government and rulers of the land. Having so much decency and tolerance for all religions makes the country amongst the best in the world. May Allah be with them and protect them always!

6: Harpreet Singh (Delhi, India), February 03, 2012, 11:20 AM.

Many thanks to the people and rulers of Dubai because their gesture of decency reminds us of Guru Nanak's visit to the Arab world several centuries ago, and the great love he received there. I read somewhere that some Sikhs approached the Dubai rulers and apprised them about the universality of Sikhi and gurbani, such as the inclusion of hymns written by Sheikh Farid and other saints born in the Muslim faith. Whether it is the initiative of our Sikh brothers and sisters in Dubai, or the magnanimity of Dubai's rulers, or the excellent services and facilities now available at this complex ... we here in Delhi and India have a lot to them from them all.

7: Mohinder Singh (Dubai, U.A.E..), February 05, 2012, 12:02 AM.

Firstly, many many thanks to His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E., for granting permission for a gurdwara and a piece of land as a gift to the Sikh community. This showed his esteem for our Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib. Also, many many thanks to the sangat from Canada, U.K., Australia, U.S.A., India, U.A.E. and many other countries for their seva to build this stunning place of worship here. This has added another star to Dubai. A very peaceful place for Sikhs and others to come and worship the One. May God bless all.

8: Gurnam Singh  (Italy), February 06, 2012, 2:53 PM.

Waheguru sub nu gursikhi, seva atey simran di daat bakshey!

9: Jasleen Singh Sanaur (Patiala, Punjab), March 11, 2012, 7:58 PM.

A very good step from the sangat of Dubai.

10: Bhupinder Kaur (Chandigarh, Punjab), September 08, 2012, 6:45 PM.

It is a very good gurdwara. I am a graduate and my husband is a software ingineer. I am an English teacher. I teach kirtan as well. My husband plays tabla. I have two daughters. The elder one is seven years old and she too plays the harmonium and does kirtan. Our younger one is three years old and she too sits with her sister. We all love to go to the gurdwara and do kirtan there, and learn Punjabi and Sikh history.

11: Jagtar Singh (New Delhi, India), September 14, 2012, 5:21 AM.

Heartiest congratulations to all the Sikhs. This is a great achievement for the Sikh panth. Thanks to Sheikh Sahib and Kandhari ji.

12: Santok Singh (India), January 23, 2013, 2:57 AM.

Saare Sikh sangat nu mere vallo(n) lakh lakh vadha-i-aa(n) hon ji, Dubai vich navey(n) gurdwarey di opening diyaa(n) te. Mein ik benti karna chavanga ki saanu vi ik moka ditta jaave ji gurdwarey vich sadh sangat ji nu kirtan raahi nihal karan da ...

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