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PICTURES: Pope Francis lands in Abu Dhabi for historic Gulf visit
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PICTURES: Pope Francis lands in Abu Dhabi for historic Gulf visit

PICTURES: Pope Francis lands in Abu Dhabi for historic Gulf visit
Culture & Entertainment
Pope Francis is seen during his visit to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, February 3, 2019. Andrew Medichini/Pool via REUTERS

 

Pope Francis landed in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to begin a historic three-day visit. A pope is making a trip to the UAE for the first time ever.  

Pope Francis was greeted by Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who escorted him to meet Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar mosque and university, one of the main seats of learning of Sunni Islam. The pontiff embraced him.

Pope Francis in Abu Dhabi

Pope Francis is welcomed by Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, February 3, 2019. Andrew Medichini/Pool via REUTERS

 

Pope Francis in Abu Dhabi

Pope Francis shakes hands with Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, Egyptian Imam of al-Azhar Mosque, upon his arrival at Abu Dhabi International airport , UAE, February 3, 2019. WAM/Handout via REUTERS

 

Prior to his flight to the Gulf, Pope Francis tweeted: “I am about to leave for the United Arab Emirates. I am visiting that Country as a brother, in order to write a page of dialogue together, and to travel paths of peace together. Pray for me!”

Pope Francis in Abu Dhabi

Pope Francis speaks to reporters aboard a plane on the way to Abu Dhabi February 3, 2019. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/Pool

Pope Francis in Abu Dhabi

Pope Francis is welcomed by Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, UAE, February 3, 2019. Andrew Medichini/Pool via REUTERS
Pope Francis in UAE
Pope Francis is greeted by an Emirati boy upon his arrival at Abu Dhabi International airport in Abu Dhabi, UAE, February 3, 2019. WAM/Handout via REUTERS

 

 

Today, Pope Francis will visit the Prince at the palace, followed by the Grand Mosque, and he will attend a private meeting with members of the Muslim Council of Elders. On the same day, he will attend the main event in Abu Dhabi for which he was invited, a dialogue of religions titled “Human Fraternity”.

The most anticipated event of the three-day visit is the papal mass at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on February 5. Churches in the UAE will distribute tickets for this mass.

Almost 135,000 people are expected to visit Zayed Sports City to see Pope Francis in possibly the biggest crowd to have ever gathered in the UAE. For those who cannot attend, the event will be livestreamed in churches in the UAE, on the Vatican’s YouTube Channel and on the papal visit website.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has announced that February 5 will be a holiday for private-sector employees holding permits to participate in the papal mass.

Pope Francis will return to Rome after a farewell ceremony at the Abu Dhabi Presidential Airport.

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