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The first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi will come up on 20,000 square metre of land in Al Wathba.

“We took delivery of the land on Monday. Within one year the temple will be built,” businessman BR Shetty, who heads the temple coordination committee, said on Monday night.

“Al Wathba is just 30 minutes from Abu Dhabi City. It will be close to the highway on Abu Dhabi-Al Ain road,” the chief executive officer of NMC Healthcare and UAE Exchange told Khaleej Times.

It was during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in August last year that the UAE Government announced its decision to allocate land for Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu temple.

“Till date, we only had permission for the temple. It was only on Monday that land allotment has happened,” he said on sidelines of a Press conference at the Indian Social and Cultural Centre to announce the second ISC – Koosamma Shedthy Memorial UAE Open Badminton Team League Tournament.

Elaborating on the size of the land, he said: “The temple will come up on 20,000 square metre (4.95 acres) of compact and beautiful land. It will be the largest.”

At present, there are two Hindu temples and one Sikh gurudwara in Dubai.

The temple will “be fully sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Government,” he added.

Shetty said that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces was keen on this temple.

“Sheikh Mohammed has written a special note saying ‘Urgent’. He had also passed the order for allotment of the land.”

The UAE-India ties are going from strength to strength, especially with Sheikh Mohammed set to be the chief guest at the Indian Republic Day in January.

“The foundation stone for the temple will be laid before Sheikh Mohammed leaves for India,” Shetty added.

Specifying on the timeframe, he said: “It shouldn’t take even one year. It should be ready in 8-9 months.”

On the idols to be kept in the temple, Shetty said: “There will be idols of Lord Krishna, Lord Maheshwara, Lord Ayyappa and more.”

Temples in Dubai are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna.

He said architectural plan is finalised and a consultant has been appointed.

“The temple will have a good garden. good Vrindavan and a water front,” he added.

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