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LOOK: Pope Francis arrives in UAE

by | News

His Holiness Pope Francis has finally arrived in the UAE to begin the Papal Visit following a 9-hour direct plane flight from the Vatican to the UAE.

He was welcomed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the UAE.

Young Emirati children also welcomed the Pope with a bouquet of flowers and a greeting in native Spanish.

The Pontiff was also welcomed by the UAE’s Cabinet Ministers.

Pope Francis then greeted His Eminence Dr Ahmad At-Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif with a warm hug symbolizing a beginning to a fruitful dialogue to travel paths of peace together with the UAE as the venue towards achieving harmony, unity and tolerance between religions.

Following his arrival, the Pope’s next agenda will be to attend a Welcome Ceremony to be held at the main entrance of the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi around 12:00 PM.

The Papal Visit marks 1st visit of a Pope to the MENA region. Themed ‘Make Me a Channel of Your Peace’, the visit is a positive response of the pontiff and the Vatican to the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the UAE.

In line with the UAE’s ‘Year of Tolerance’ the visit is part of the celebrations of the ‘International Interfaith Meeting on Human Fraternity’.

Pope Francis’ full itinerary in the UAE:

Monday, February 4
12:00 PM – Welcome Ceremony at the main entrance of the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi
12:20 PM – Official Visit to the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince in the Presidential Palace
5:00 PM – Private meeting with the members of the Muslim Council of Elders at Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque
6:10 PM – Inter-religious Meeting at the Founder’s Memorial
Discourse of the Holy Father

Tuesday, February 5
9:15 AM – Visit in private to the Cathedral
10:30 AM – Santa Messa in Zayed Sports City — Homily of the Holy Father
12:40 PM – Farewell Ceremony at the Abu Dhabi Presidential Airport
1:00 PM – Departure by plane to Rome
5:00 PM – Arrival at the Rome/Ciampino International Airport

Screengrabs from the live video of the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia

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It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

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