Indian PM Modi to inaugurate Abu Dhabi Hindu temple in February next year



Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted an invitation to inaugurate the Hindu BAPS temple in Abu Dhabi early next year. The inauguration will
take place on February 14, and will be less than a month after the Indian PM inaugurates the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Both these events have far-reaching political significance as India heads to national elections later next year. It will help Modi consolidate his image as the leader of a party that upholds the cause of its Hindu electorate while strengthening the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prospects in the elections.

Preparations for a grand opening of the Ram Temple on January 22, 2024 are already in full swing. In February the temple being inaugurated in UAE, a Muslim-majority nation will have a read-out of its own.

The construction work of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha temple or the BAPS Hindu Mandir, began in 2019 after the UAE government allotted land in Abu Dhabi’s Abu Mureikha in August 2015.

On February 14, 2024, Modi will spend an evening in the temple after the consecration and blessing of seven deities during the morning prayers. The temple is likely to open to the public from February 18, 2024 onwards.

Thousands of hand-carved stone blocks were made in Rajasthan and Gujarat in India and then shipped to Abu Dhabi. The seating capacity is expected to be around eight to 10,000. From the UAE’s point of view, the temple is a symbol of harmony and of the nation’s acceptance of different faiths. This will be the second temple in the UAE. A smaller temple opened last year in Dubai’s Jebel Ali area that is home to churches and a Sikh gurdwara.

The BAPS organisation has built 1,200 temples in India, the UK, US, Kenya, South Africa and Australia.

From a political viewpoint, the construction of the Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi is also a testimony to Modi’s success in building relationships with various nations of the Middle East. Globally, he is seen as a strong Indian leader and has forged ties with the diaspora. The UAE hosts 3.5 million Indian expats.

At home, it reinforces his image as a leader who doesn’t shy away from embracing his religious and cultural roots. – The writer is Executive Editor of



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