Dubai Ruler Joins Diwali Festivities

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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, says the light of hope always unite us and lead us forward to a better tomorrow

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, wishes everyone celebrating Diwali around the world.

“On behalf of the people of the UAE, I wish everyone celebrating around the world a happy Diwali. May the light of hope always unite us and lead us forward to a better tomorrow,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on his official Twitter handle.

He is one among the prominent leaders including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to greet the Indian community during the festival of lights, Meanwhile, the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi is preparing for a virtual Diwali festival on 15th November.

“Just as Covid-19 has not frayed the progress being made on the temple construction, it has not impacted the will and enthusiasm of community members in celebrating Diwali this year,” the temple officials said in a statement. “BAPS Hindu Mandir volunteers are enthusiastically working behind the scenes to bring together a special online celebration for the grand yet socially-distant festival of Diwali and Hindu New Year.  Keeping the social distancing measures in mind, the volunteers have curated a series of social media and virtual content to stay connected with all worshippers and enable them to celebrate. For more information on how you can join online celebrations like the #RangoliChallenge or attend the annakut of 15 November, visit www.mandir.ae/diwali

An image from the temple site. The intricate carvings of the mandir tell the stories from Indian epics and mythology

Temple Construction

Despite the impact of Covid-19 across the globe, the construction is progressing at the BAPS Hindu Mandir site in Abu Dhabi. With over 25,000 cubic feet of stone being carved, a substantial portion of the mandir features have been completed. Designs of the masterplan were completed in early 2020 and include a combination of Italian Marble and Sandstone from Rajasthan.

“With the support of the community and guidance from the leadership in India and the UAE, the work on the historic mandir is progressing,” the temple officials said. “Currently, Pujya Brahmavihari Swami is visiting the UAE to oversee the next stage of the foundation on site in preparation for the arrival of the carved stones which will be shipped and assembled in the first quarter of 2021.

“While navigating the challenges produced by COVID19 and adhering to local best practices during the pandemic, stone work has continued in India. In fact, this mandir will be uniquely identified by its intricate mandovar – which will share many traditional value tales from throughout India as well as unique designs of the Gulf.

“The fact that the mandir is moving forward at such a steady pace is itself a statement of the vision of the leaders of the UAE and India and of the local community’s commitment to making a lasting contribution to the country which has become their home and heart of success and growth. We would like to thank all the people who have contributed to this project and welcome everyone who would like to join in this historic endeavor of harmony and tolerance to visit our website, follow us on social media or speak to our volunteers”, said Ashok Kotecha.

The carvings of the temple will articulate the stories of India’s rich heritage. This will include a diverse proportion of India’s geography and Hindu belief systems inclusive of the Mahabharata, Ramayan as well as the Puranas. Values of tales and universal wisdom as well as ancient art and architecture will be revived.

The temple committee are grateful for the support provided by the leadership of India and the UAE during these challenging times. A special thank you is also offered to DPWorld and Transworld Group for offering logistical support in bringing the carved stones to the UAE for the final masterpiece to be completed.

Also Read: Healthy Substitutes For Diwali Sweets

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