Pope Francis will hold Papal Mass and visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque during his trip
7 January 2019| Last updated on 7 January 2019
The highly anticipated visit of Pope Francis to the UAE is happening next month…
His trip to the Middle East was announced in December and since, excitement of his arrival has been building rapidly amongst Christians living in the UAE.
Marking a landmark moment in interfaith relations for the country, Pope Francis will visit Abu Dhabi from February 3rd to 5th 2019 – and his itinerary has been confirmed by The Vatican.
Confirmation of his visit followed an invitation that had been extended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Price of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai also welcomed the news on social media.
“We welcome the news of Pope Francis’ visit to the United Arab Emirates next February – a visit that will strengthen our ties and understanding of each other, enhance interfaith dialogue and help us to work together to maintain and build peace among the nations of the world.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed also shared the following:
“The UAE is delighted to welcome His Holiness Pope Francis on the upcoming visit to the UAE. He is a symbol of peace, tolerance and the promotion of brotherhood.
“We look forward to a historic visit, through which we will seek a dialogue on the peaceful coexistence among peoples.”
The historic meeting – the first to any GCC member country - is in keeping with the UAE’s theme for 2019, the “Year of Tolerance”; during which, residents of the country are encourage to tolerate and embrace different religions and cultures along four other pillars.
How many Catholics live in the UAE?
Nearly a million Catholics and other Christian expats live and work in the UAE, and they have the freedom to practice their faith alongside other religions.
There’s over 40 churches in the UAE, and over 20 churches in Dubai alone. In fact – that’s substantially more centres of worship than all other GCC countries combined.
Pope Francis will visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque on his second day in the UAE
Official itinerary of Pope Francis in UAE
The Vatican released His Holiness’ itinerary for his UAE trip, which you can find in detail here:
Sunday, 3rd February 2019
- 10PM - Arrive at the Abu Dhabi Presidential Airport
- Official welcome will occur
Monday, 4th February 2019
- 12PM - Welcome ceremony at the main entrance of the Presidential palace
- 12:20PM – Official visit to the Crown Prince in the Presidential palace
- 5PM – Private meeting with the members of the Muslim Council of Elders in Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
- 6:10PM – Interreligious meeting at the Founder’s Memorial
Tuesday, 5th February 2019
- 9:15AM – Private visit to the Cathedral
- 10:30AM – Holy Mass in the Zayed Sports City
- 12:40PM – Farewell ceremony at Abu Dhabi Presidential Airport
- 1PM – Departure by plane for Rome
When is the Papal Mass in UAE?
If you’d like to attend Pope Francis’ Papal Mass in the UAE, it will take place during his last day of his UAE trip on February 5th, 2019. The mass will begin at 10:30AM.
How to get tickets for the Papal Mass in UAE
Almost 120,000 people will be able to witness Pope Francis’ Papa Mass in person, but there will be limited capacity and tickets will be limited to this number.
Tickets are free of charge, and will be distributed by the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia (AVOSA) Papal Visit Office. All are expected to reach parishes before or around 20th January, 2019.
The Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia covers the UAE, Oman and Yemen.
The majority of tickets will go to AVOSA, but a quota will also be reserved for the north Arabia counter-part.
Tickets will be distributed to individual parishes throughout the Arab region. To discover whether your church will have tickets available for the Papal Mass this February, contact your local church in Dubai by using our list here.
How to watch the live stream of the UAE Papal Mass
Those unable to personally attend the Papal Mass at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi will be able to watch a live stream.
The mass will be live-streamed on the official website www.uaepapalvisit.org and also within all churches in the UAE.
Residents are being warned against fraudulent tickets
Communications from the official UAE Papal Visit website has recently warned residents to be “on their guard against anyone offering tickets for sale or offering tickets through unauthorised channels.
“The only official channels for ticket distribution are through the AVOSA and AVONA parishes and authorized representatives of the parish.”
Logo and theme of the UAE Papal Visit
The logo of the visit has been revealed as a dove bearing an olive branch. The colours of the dove, white outlined with yellow, are taken from the colours of the Vatican Flag.
The flag of the UAE is incorporated into the body of the dove, symbolising the visit of the Pope to the country as a herald of peace.
The theme of the UAE Papal Visit is “make me a channel of your peace”, inspired by the Prayer of Peace by St. Francis of Assisi, after whom Pope Francis took his name.