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Pope Francis to Visit the UAE for the First Time in February

JERUSALEM - MAY 2014: Pope Francis visiting the Temple Mount and meeting the Muslim clerics and Catholic cardinals, Jordan's Prince Ghazi, chief adviser to the king for religious and cultural affairs © Roman Yanushevsky

JERUSALEM - MAY 2014: Pope Francis visiting the Temple Mount and meeting the Muslim clerics and Catholic cardinals, Jordan's Prince Ghazi, chief adviser to the king for religious and cultural affairs © Roman Yanushevsky

Pope Francis will visit the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi for the first time in February 2019, announced the Vatican for what will be the first visit of a catholic Pope to the Arabian Peninsula.

“May the visit be an important step in the dialogue between Muslims and Christians and contribute to mutual understanding and the restoration of peace in the Middle East region” said Bishop Paul Hinder spokesman of the Vatican.

In the United Arab Emirates, Pope Francis will take part in the International Interfaith Meeting on Human Fraternity, during which he will hold a mass.

The Emirates, a State in favour of tolerance

Although the country is predominantly Muslim, the Gulf State is home to a wide range of cultures and nationalities, including some 40 churches. For several years, the United Arab Emirates has been making considerable efforts to promote religious coexistence, and this visit is further proof of this.