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Update on Temple in Dubai, UAE


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The Church in the United Arab Emirates:


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the United Arab Emirates refers to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and its members in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The church's first self-standing meetinghouse in the Middle East was dedicated in Abu Dhabi in 2013.[4] As of 2021, there are four meetinghouses and six congregations.[1] In April 2020, the intent to construct a temple in Dubai was announced.[5]

I haven't heard much about the announced temple since then.  From October 2021:


Latter-day Saints in the United Arab Emirates welcomed Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife, Susan, along with other Church leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. 

In Dubai, Elder Bednar was joined by a number of area and organizational leaders ministering in the region, including Elder Patrick Kearon of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Jennifer; Elder Randy D. Funk of the Middle East/Africa North Area Presidency and his wife, Andrea; Relief Society general president Jean B. Bingham and her husband, Bruce and her First Counselor, Sister Sharon Eubank. The leaders met with the leadership of the Abu Dhabi Stake.  
While in Dubai, the Bednars and Funks also visited Expo 2020. As announced in April 2020, a parcel of land on the expansive property of Expo 2020, will one day be the site of the Dubai Temple. Following a gracious invitation from the Dubai government to build the temple, it will be the first to be built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Middle East.  

The temple will serve 8,000 Latter-day Saints living in two stakes in the Gulf states and a number of congregations in the Middle East, northern Africa, eastern Europe and western Asia. Currently members who want to worship in temples need to travel to places such as Ukraine, Italy and Germany.  

Amanda Fristrom, a member of a Dubai congregation who was raised in South Dakota, looks forward to the closeness of the temple. “I’ve never lived in a place with easy access, and so my involvement with the ordinances and covenants is going to completely change. I look forward to feeling the spirit of the temple and to be able to sit and ponder in the temple,” she said.   

Georges and Sylvie Mojica moved to the United Arab Emirates from France in 1987. They never expected to see a temple in the country in their lifetimes.  

"Having the chance to go to the temple is also something so important for all of us," Sylvie Mojica said. "We love the temple and having the temple here. We just can’t wait for that.” 

When the Dubai temple is finished, British Latter-day Saint Linton Crockford-Moore looks forward to inviting his Muslim friends to the open house.  

“All of the members here are really looking forward to the opportunity to invite members of the community to go to the open house,” he said. “I think there is nothing better to actually experience our beliefs than [visiting] inside the house of the Lord.” 

As announced, the temple property will include both a meetinghouse and a temple. 

From June 2022:


In the desert of Dubai, an LDS temple will rise. Here’s how it came to be and why it matters.
The faith’s first temple in the Middle East comes to a Muslim nation seeking to make religious diversity its calling card.
By Peggy Fletcher Stack | June 5, 2022, 6:00 a.m.

(Michael Stack | Special to The Tribune) The first chapel built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Middle East, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, April 7, 2022.

The interior of the Latter-day Saint meetinghouse in Abu Dhabi — the first one built by the church in the Middle East — looks like something out of Provo.

Wooden pews neatly lined up. A podium at the front. Sacrament table off to the side. Blue carpet.

But the towering exterior boasts multiple stories, a dome-shaped roof and arched windows. And the people in the pews? Think a mini-meeting of the United Nations.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in this ultramodern country of sleek skyscrapers and streamlined highways, hail from across Africa, South America, Asia, Australia, Europe, and, of course, North America.


One group, though, is noticeably absent in this panoply of worshippers: Emiratis.

That’s partly because the UAE is an Islamic nation, and conversion to any other faith is punishable by death, and partly because only 11% of its 10 million residents are Emiratis.

At this moment in history, the UAE is working hard to establish itself as a citadel of tolerance in the Islamic world. The arid country on the Persian Gulf was, after all, a signatory of the historic 2020 Abraham Accords, a treaty that opened up its relations with Israel.

The pact recognized that “the Arab and Jewish peoples are descendants of a common ancestor, Abraham,” and the parties agreed “to foster in the Middle East a reality in which Muslims, Jews, Christians and peoples of all faiths, denominations, beliefs and nationalities live in, and are committed to, a spirit of coexistence, mutual understanding and mutual respect.”

Now the UAE is erecting a visual monument in Abu Dhabi to the three monotheistic faiths in a space known as the Abrahamic Family House, which includes a synagogue, a church and a mosque, and is slated to open later this year.

With that openness, Halverson says, comes plenty of opportunities for Latter-day Saints in five UAE wards (congregations) and one branch to serve alongside other faith groups.

And now, from today:


UAE ambassador visits London temple as a precursor for announced temple in Dubai

Elder Anthony D. Perkins, president of the Middle East/Africa North Area, hosts him on the London temple grounds

By Scott Taylor  23 Sept 2022, 10:43 AM MDT
H.E. Mansoor Abulhoul, United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United Kingdom, right, is hosted at the London England Temple by Elder Anthony D. Perkins, Middle East/Africa North Area president on Sept. 20, 2022. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

With an eye to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ future temple in the United Arab Emirates, an ambassador from that country met with a Church leader at the London England Temple to learn more about the the purpose of temples.

H.E. Mansoor Abulhoul, UAE ambassador to the United Kingdom, was hosted by Elder Anthony D. Perkins, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s Middle East/Africa North Area, Tuesday, Sept. 20, on the London temple grounds in Surrey, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of its namesake city.

The ambassador tweeted about his visit and experience Friday, Sept. 23, and the Church posted a report on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Cool stuff.



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