Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar, Dubai

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Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar, Dubai

The largest gurdwara of Gulf region has been opened for public in Dubai. Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar has been constructed at a cost of $20 million. Though Dubai has 50,000 Sikhs staying there, it had no gurdwara so far.

Vice-president and prime minister of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, had granted 25,400 sq feet land for the gurdwara in Jebel Ali area.

Press release

  • November 22, 2008 The Weekly Voice Page 15. Community News

$20 Million Dubai Gurudwara First In The Gulf

AT one time, the very thought of buliding a Gurudwara in the heart of an Islamic state was considered nothing short of an Arabian mirage. Today, once-the-unimaginable has happened. Guru Nanak Darbar is fast rising from the sands of Dubai, making it the first 'official' Sikh temple in the whole of Gulf.

And if things go according to plan, the 50.000 strong Sikh community living in Dubai will be celebrating Baisakhi there in April 2010. "That's when I will think I have done something for the community," says Surender Singh Kandhari, the man who made it all happen.

It was a journey to the unknown when Mr. Kandhari, a well-respected businessman in Dubai, approached Dubai authorities with his, what is calls, "a dream project." Convincing the officials of the Ministry of Islamic Affair that there is nothing anti-Islamic about setting up a Gurudwara, was the most difficult job.

Mr. Kandhari, who is also the Captain of the prestigious Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, needed to bring all his convincing powers and knowledge about the region into full play - and finally he succeeded. "It was hard to explain the Ministry officials even the idea of sangat and langar. I had to translate excerpts from Guru Granth Saheb and read out to them. Sikhs don't worship idols like in Islam, and how the idea of equality was inherent in Sikhism. Once they were convinced that setting up a Gurudwara is not anti-Islamic, things quickly started falling in place.

His HIghness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE, was very gracious to grant permission for building of the gurudwara. "The permission is one thing, look at gesture- he gave us 25400 square feet of land free for the community!"

"Now you know why Dubai is so special. And why Guru Nanak Darbar is special. My dream is to make it the best after Golden Temple in Amritsar," said Kandhari. The internationally reputed Dubai based architect firm Holford Associates has designed the Dubai gurudwara.

Holdford Associates already has to its credit over 20 churches, four mosques and one temple. "We also had the suppport of Richard Adams from UK who was involved with the Shri Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara on the Havelock Road in Southall, London."

"Before awarding the contract, we asked the architects there to visit the Gurudwaras around the world, find each one's imperfection and make a perfect Gurudwara. A masterpiece which will serve the needs of the community," said Mr. Kandhari, chairman of Al

News articles

[ http://timesofap.com/nri/2012/01/23/largest-gurdwara-in-gulf-region-opens/ Largest gurdwara in Gulf region opens] – January 23, 2012

The largest gurdwara of Gulf region has been opened for public in Dubai. Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar has been constructed at a cost of $20 million. Though Dubai has 50,000 Sikhs staying there, it had no gurdwara so far.

Vice-president and prime minister of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, had granted 25,400 sq feet land for the gurdwara in Jebel Ali area.

“It is indeed a historic moment for Sikh community. I have been living in Dubai for 32 years and we had no place of worship. Now we at least have this gurdwara for solemnizing marriages and holding other religious ceremonies,” said, Ravinderpal singh, 50, resident of Al-Qusais-Dubai and owner of an eatery.

Avtar Singh, 36, from Bur Dubai, who works with a multinational corporation, said, “We will go to the gurdwara for special prayers on Friday. Everyone in Dubai speaks in Hindi and Punjabi and this is a great place. There was only one thing missing and that was a place where we could say our prayers. Now, the government has also provided this to us.”

He added that this was graceful gesture from UAE and signalled the beginning of a new chapter in the relations between Sikhs and Dubai government.

In the first week of January 2012, ruler of conservative Sharjah emirate Dr Sheikh Sultan III bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, had given 10 acres for a new crematorium for Hindus and Sikhs.

Gulf to get its first gurdwara in heart of Dubai

indianexpress.com Sat May 22 2010

The first gurdwara in the UAE, Guru Nanak Durbar, will open in Dubai within a month.

Built at $20 million, the ultra-modern gurdwara is a rare piece of architectural design, a blend of modern and traditional building style, finalised after studying important Sikh shrines the world over, including Golden Temple.

Gulf-based industrialist Surender Singh Kandhari had taken the initiative to build the mega project and permission was taken from Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE in 2008.

It took two years for Dubai-based architectural firms Holford Associates and Paul Bishop Design Associates to give shape to the three storyed structure built over 12,5000 sq ft with a basement, a langar (community kitchen) and assembly halls.

Paul Bishop and designer Arafeh Bashir visited the Golden Temple earlier this week and studied frescoes and wall painting at Harmandar Sahib.

“The Guru Nanak Durbar is ready except for some minute interior design work,” said Gunbir Singh, a local industrialist and philanthropist who was the team’s local coordinator.

Talking to The Indian Express, he said Kandhari had convinced the UAE top authorities about the tolerant teachings of Sikh gurus and the Sheikh not only granted permission for the shrine but also gave free land to the community in the heart of Dubai.

“Richard Adams from UK, who helped design the Singh Sahib Gurdwara at South Hall was also consulted,” said Gunbir, adding that the gurdwara will accommodate over 600 devotees at the langar hall at one time.

“It is only a matter of days that the formal inauguration will take place. The organising committee is consulting to invite dignitaries including the Punjab chief minister and deputy chief minister and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Avtar Singh Makkar for the ceremony,” said Gunbir adding that the money spent had come from donations from all over the world.


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