Dubai's majestic Hindu temple opens to public on Dussehra

News Network
October 5, 2022

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Dubai, Oct 5: A grand Hindu temple, which was inaugurated last night, opened its doors to idol worshippers and visitors on the occasion of Dussehra in Jebel Ali area of Dubai. The temple is an extension of the Sindhi Guru Darbar Temple, one of the oldest Hindu temples in the UAE.

"Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance & Coexistence & Amb @sunjaysudhir inaugurated the new Hindu Temple in Dubai. On the occasion, Ambassador Sunjay Sudhir thanked the UAE Government for their support to the 3.5 million-strong Indian diaspora in the UAE," the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi tweeted.

A powerful message of tolerance, peace and harmony, bringing together people from various faiths, marked the official opening ceremony, the Khaleej Times newspaper reported.

Priests chanted “Om shanti shanti Om” in a peace salutation and musicians playing the tabla and dhol — Indian drums — greeted people as they entered.

The 'worship village' in Jebel Ali now houses nine religious shrines, including seven churches, the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Gurudwara, and the new Hindu house of worship.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was organised in the main prayer hall.

Sheikh Nahyan was joined by Ambassador Sudhir, CEO of the social regulatory and licensing agency for the Community Development Authority (CDA), Dr Omar Al Muthanna and trustee of the Hindu Temple Dubai, Raju Shroff.

Ahmed Abdul Karim Julfar, director-general of the Community Development Authority, was also present at the event.

Over 200 dignitaries, including the heads of diplomatic missions, religious leaders of several faiths, business owners and Indian community members were also present at the glittering opening ceremony.

Sudhir said: "It is welcome news for the Indian community that a new Hindu temple is being inaugurated in Dubai today. The temple's opening serves the religious aspirations of the large Hindu community living in the UAE.

"The new temple is adjoining a Gurudwara, which was opened in 2012. We are honoured that Sheikh Nahayan inaugurated the new Hindu temple in Dubai. We thank the graciousness and generosity of the Dubai Government for providing land for the temple and facilitating its construction," the Indian envoy said.

Plans to construct the 70,000-square-foot house of worship were announced in 2020, shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic struck the city.

The temple features detailed hand carvings, ornate pillars, brass spires and striking lattice screens that blend Indian and Arabic architecture.

Speaking to Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the opening ceremony, Shroff said: "The temple opening in Dubai is a dream come true not just for Hindus, but for Indians all over the UAE. The temple is a true representation of how we perceive religion – bringing cultures together."

"Despite Covis-19, construction timelines were not hampered because of the support of the Dubai government. The Hindu Temple Dubai is truly a remarkable icon of how receptive and compassionate Dubai and the Government of the UAE are. Whether it was in 1958 to launch the first 'temple' in the country to the Hindu temple now, the Emirati generosity remains."

Pre-registration is required to visit the temple and devotees can register online before arrival.

By the end of the year, there will be a spacious community centre where Hindu ceremonies, rituals and prayers can take place, including weddings.

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News Network
March 16,2023

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Riyadh, Mar 16: Saudi Arabia is open to “quickly” investing in Iran following the restoration of diplomatic relations, according to the Kingdom’s Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan. 

Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed last Friday to reassert their diplomatic ties and will reopen their respective embassies within two months.  

Speaking at the Financial Sector Conference in Riyadh, Al-Jadaan was asked when Saudi Arabia could start making “significant” investments in Iran.

“I would say quickly,” he replied, later adding: “Our aim is to have a region that is stable, able to provide for its people, and prosper, and there is no reason for that not to happen, Iran is our neighbor and has been and will continue to be for hundreds of years.”

“There are a lot of opportunities in Iran, and we provide a lot of opportunities, as long as goodwill continues,” Al-Jadaan said. 

The finance minister added that as long as both sides “stick to agreements” around sovereignty and non-interference, there is no reason the relationship between the countries cannot see a “ normalization.”

“I don’t see any impediments,” Al-Jadaan added.

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News Network
March 7,2023

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Doha, Mar 7: Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani was sworn in as Prime Minister of Qatar at the Amiri Diwan on Tuesday, Qatar news agency (QNA) reported. 

He will replace Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani, who had served as prime minister and interior minister — responsible for domestic security — since 2020.

This took place in the precense of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Emir of the country.

Sheikh Mohammed served as foreign minister of Qatar since 2016 and will be replaced as interior minister on Tuesday by Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

In his current capacity as Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed's responsibilities include planning and implementing Qatar's foreign policy, maintaining and extending the country's strategic bilateral/multilateral relations, leading mediation efforts, and consolidating international peace and security by encouraging the peaceful settlement of international disputes.

Sheikh Mohammed also serves as Chairman of Qatar Fund for Development, since 2014, Chairman of Qatar Investment Authority, since 2018, and is a member of Qatar's Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investments.

Sheikh Mohammed was born and raised in Doha, Qatar. He is part of the Qatari royal family as a member of the House of Thani. He has a bachelor's degree in economics and business administration from Qatar University (2003).

Sheikh Mohammed joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2013 as Assistant Foreign Minister for International Cooperation Affairs.

Prior to joining the ministry, Sheikh Mohammed served as economic researcher and then later Director of Economic Affairs at the Supreme Council of Family Affairs from 2005 to 2009.

He later became the director of the Department of Public and Private Sectors Partnership at the Ministry of Business and Trade in 2009 and launched “Enterprise Qatar” – an organization that provides technical and financial support for small and medium-sized enterprises.

A year later, in 2010, Sheikh Mohammed served as Secretary of the Personal Representative of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani for follow-up affairs at the Amiri Diwan in 2010.

Between 2011 and 2012, Sheikh Mohammed attained the rank of undersecretary and became the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Aspire – Katara Investment Company.

Sheikh Mohammed’s responsibilities as Minister of Foreign Affairs included planning and implementing Qatar’s foreign policy, maintaining and extending the country’s strategic bilateral/multilateral relations, leading mediation efforts, and consolidating international peace and security by encouraging the peaceful settlement of international disputes. 

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News Network
March 11,2023

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Various countries have welcomed the restoration of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, while the regime in Tel Aviv seems to view the development as a “fatal blow” to its regional coalition building against the Islamic Republic.

After several days of intensive negotiations hosted by China, Iran and Saudi Arabia finally clinched a deal on Friday to restore diplomatic relations and re-open embassies, seven years after ties were severed over several issues.

The important development soon became a hot topic in regional as well as international media and reactions from other countries began to pour in.

“The return to normal relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia provides great capacities to both countries, the region, and the Muslim world,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who is set to soon meet with his Saudi counterpart to make the necessary arrangements, wrote in a post on his Twitter account.

“The good neighborliness policy, as the key axis of the Iranian administration’s foreign policy, is strongly moving in the right direction and the diplomatic apparatus is actively behind the preparation of more regional steps,” he said.

Riyadh eyeing continuation of dialogue

Saudi National Security Adviser Musaid Al Aiban, who negotiated the agreement with his Iranian counterpart Ali Shamkhani, said that Riyadh “welcomes the initiative of His Excellency President Xi Jinping, based on the Kingdom’s consistent and continuous approach since its establishment in adhering to the principles of good neighborliness.”

He said Saudi Arabia takes “everything that would enhance security and stability in the region and the world,” while “adopting the principle of dialogue and diplomacy to resolve differences.”

“While we value what we have reached, we hope that we will continue to continue the constructive dialogue, in accordance with the pillars and foundations included in the agreement, expressing our appreciation for the People’s Republic of China’s continued positive role in this regard.”

China: This is ‘victory for dialogue’

China’s Top Diplomat Wang Yi praised the agreement as “a victory for dialogue, a victory for peace, offering major good news at a time of much turbulence in the world.”

China will continue to play a constructive role in handling hotspot issues in the world and demonstrate its responsibility as a major nation, Wang said. “The world is not just limited to the Ukraine issue.”

Nasrallah: Agreement could lead to new horizons

Addressing a local event on Friday, the secretary general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the agreement will be “to the benefit” of the region.

“The rapprochement of Iran and Saudi Arabia proceeds in its normal path and can open new horizons for the region and Lebanon,” he said.

The Iranian foreign minister also held separate phone conversations with his Omani, Iraq, and Qatari counterparts who embraced the resumption of ties.

Turkey and the United Arab Emirates also welcomed the new development in separate statements.

US welcomes ‘de-escalation’

In the first reaction, the United States claimed that it embraces “de-escalation” in West Asia.

“Generally speaking, we welcome any efforts to help end the war in Yemen and de-escalate tensions in the Middle East region. De-escalation and diplomacy together with deterrence are key pillars of the policy President Biden outlined during his visit to the region last year,” a White House National Security Council spokesperson told Reuters.

Ansarullah hails move against foreign interference

Mohammed Abdulsalam, the Yemeni Ansarullah resistance movement’s chief negotiator, said the region is in need of resumption of “normal ties” between its countries.

“The region needs the resumption of normal ties between its countries for the Islamic nation to reclaim its lost security as a result of foreign, especially American-Zionist, interferences,” he tweeted.

Foreign interference, he said, has taken advantage of differences in the region and used Iranophobia to wage aggression on Yemen.

‘Dangerous development for Israel’

Meanwhile, the Israeli regime did not seem to take the development so well. Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called the agreement a “political victory” for Iran and a “serious and dangerous development for Israel.”

“This delivers a fatal blow to efforts to build a regional coalition against Iran,” he said.

Former Prime Minister Yair Lapid also described the reconciliation deal as a dangerous development that strips Israel of its regional defensive wall. “The agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran reflects the complete and dangerous failure of the Israeli government’s foreign policy,” Lapid said.

Benny Gantz, former minister of military affairs, also reacted to the rapprochement, stating that it was a cause for concern.

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