Indians make-up 30% of UAE’s population, it is a higher percentage than Emiratis themselves. During a recent visit of India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to Abu Dhabi, which is happening for the first time in the past 34 years, the UAE government allocated land to build the first Hindu Temple in the Abu Dhabi while two are already built in Dubai. The land has been allocated since 2013, but this year they have finalized the decision with Modi’s visit.
It is a great accomplishment for one of the most secular Arabic countries to provide its citizens with sanctuary for their religious practices. It is recognition from the government to aid coexistence, but as usual there is always the opposing opinion, which is not necessarily from Emirati citizens, claiming that this decision shouldn’t be made in the first place. This sparked many debates on the social media, especially Twitter, where people from all around the globe took to comment on the decision.
The UAE’s population is mostly formed of expats. And the government has been careful about making sure all their citizens are treated with equality and respect. The fact that this temple is being built is proof of it. However, some of the reactions are alarming. It seems that not everyone is welcoming to the idea. Celebrating different cultures is always a step in the right direction. Only time can tell if this step will have a substantial positive effect on those who are, until now, less tolerant.
Below are examples of the tweets that still flood Twitter feeds on the subject