Churches Await UAE Government Guidelines for Reopening

Most churches continue to remain closed in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, even as mosques across the country reopened after a 107-day closure in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. A statement released by the churches states that they will only reopen after the operating procedures and standards have been finalised and suitable safety measures have been approved by the local authorities.

“We welcome the announcement of the UAE Government that places of worship will be allowed to open from July 1. We now await specific instructions and guidelines from the Department of Community Development, who are working with the places of worship to adopt best practices and policies which will help to ensure the safety of us all,” St Joseph’s Cathedral said. The mass services continue to be carried on online by the priests. “Our priority remains to ensure a safe environment for our faithful. Following the reception of the said guidelines and depending on the essential safety restrictions, we will be releasing instructions on the opening hours of our churches and the nature of the prayer services which are permitted.”

St George Orthodox Cathedral, St Paul’s Church in Mussafah and other churches across Dubai and Abu Dhabi have echoed the same sentiments. Churches have advised the laity to follow their website and social media platforms for future updates.

Gurudwara Sahib, a Dubai-based gurudwara had announced its reopening on July 4. Open to worshippers from 9 am to 9.30 am and 6 pm to 6.30 pm, the Gurudwara Sahib will be welcome believers from Saturday to Thursday with a provision for walk-through darshan alone.