Thirty years ago we had no buildings, and when we saw buildings in other countries we used to envy them and wonder how we could convince our people to be satisfied with what they had.
― Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan
2019, the year of tolerance
Every year, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrate a new theme as an attribute of the young unified monarchy. 2018 was declared the Year of Zayed, (e.g. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, the Founding Father of the UAE born 100 years earlier). 2017 was the Year of Giving. And 2019 was proclaimed the Year of Tolerance.
The weight of Asiatic workforce in the UAE
As a gesture of Emirate’s commitment to promote religious tolerance, the Pope Francis paid a visit to Abu Dhabi in 2019. it was a first visit in a Gulf country in Papal history. The UAE lack workforce and 80 percent of its population are foreigners, including Christian from South and South-East Asia. Although a few limitations on religious freedom of non-Muslims are said to exist, the country portrays itself as a model of peaceful coexistence. Abu Dhabi is a land of contrast.
Stunning Abu Dhabi
In the stunning Abu Dhabi, the busy traveler will encounter in the same day a female Uzbek taxi driver engaging a conversation in Russian.
He or she also might wish strolling through a shopping mall crowded by wealthy Muslim Emirati families admiring Christmas decorations.
The day-tripper will also notice the pervasiveness of giant portraits of Sheikh Zayed bordering Abu Dhabi’s streets.
He or she will be stunned the first time he or she will face the staggering beauty at night of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This is the largest Mosque in the country and it is crowded at any time by dozens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists.
The busy traveler will also notice the huge number of devoted Christian Filipino families attending the mass at night after an exhausting working day.
He or she also might find tempting discovering modernist architecture of Abu Dhabi Louvre Museum, which combines French and Gulf cultures.
The day-tripper visiting stunning Abu Dhabi will also discover many other things…
Solange Paradis, Abu Dhabi, decembre 2018
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