Pope Francis to visit the UAE in early February

By Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 7 December 2018: Pope Francis, known as the ‘Vicar of Christ’ to more than a billion Catholics around the world, will visit the UAE in February, according to Vatican News.

Pope Francis is the head of the global Catholic church.

“We welcome the news of Pope Francis’ visit to the United Arab Emirates next February – a visit that will strengthen our ties and understanding of each other, enhance interfaith dialogue and help us to work together to maintain and build peace among the nations of the world,” said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in a tweet.

By 3:22 am, his tweet garnered 2,426 likes and 667 retweets apart from hundreds of responses.

A press release published by the Vatican Press Office specified that the Pope’s visit comes in response to the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Inter-Faith Meet

Pope Francis will visit Abu Dhabi from 3 to 5 February 2019 to attend an interfaith meeting on Human Fraternity.

Greg Burke, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, said on Thursday that the visit highlights Pope Francis’ commitment to building a culture of encounter. The theme of the visit, Burke explained, is “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”, said Vatican News.

“That’s the Pope’s intention in going to the United Arab Emirates. How all people of goodwill can work for peace will be a major topic on this trip,” he said.

Burke added that like the Pope’s 2017 apostolic journey to Egypt, this visit “shows the fundamental importance the Holy Father gives to inter-religious dialogue”.

Pope Francis visiting the Arab world, he concluded, “is a perfect example of the culture of encounter”.

Global Response

In response to Sheikh Mohammed’s tweet, Cecilia Saleh said: “Mashallah Your Excellency that Pope Francis is coming here in February and that is beautiful of making peace and love among the world. Hats off to you 😊😍😘❤❤❤👍👍👍.”

Stanly Jacob had a simple but succinct “God bless UAE”.

Prabhas said: “God gift.. U.A.E But I love you.. U.A.E ❤️❤️😍😍👌💐💐.”

Bina Mathews said: “Woohoo!!!! THANK YOU your Highness, Papa Francis is the only religious leader I’ve ever wanted to see in person. We missed him in Rome and now he’s coming to our second home, thanks to you🤗💕🇦🇪

A tweet from hbgcurls said, “Thank you for allowing all other faiths to coexist in #UAE #MyDubai.”

Antony Prabhu Soris, said “Great news.. we are very happy to welcome you at land of peace his holiness pope Francis.. luv UAE”.

Anna Papávero said “Two leader with the same open mind. With a common life purpose: make the world a better place for everyone. God bless you both.”

Devin Moore said: “You are doing great work that have a positive impact on Dubai and its citizens. A true sign of great leadership.”

Spencer & Associates tweeted: “Praise to the UAE for its culture and practice of religious tolerance. 🇦🇪👍

Dan Bartlett said: “Tolerance of all religions is the greatest gift to all humanity.”

Dubai Gazette