Did PM Modi inaugurate the first temple in UAE? No!

Dubai has many temples since 1958 and this BAPS temple is the first to feature stone architecture


Madhya Pradesh BJP president VD Sharma said on PM Modi recently inaugurating the first Hindu temple in UAE. “Whenever BJP does something, it considers people’s desires and expectations. He (PM Modi) recently inaugurated the UAE’s first Hindu temple. He has also worked in the same direction in other countries to give power and strength to the spirituality,” he said.

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In the context of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Abu Dhabi to open the recently constructed BAPS temple, social media is filled with many claims stating that this is the first Hindu temple in UAE.

Press Trust of India has released a one-minute, one-second video featuring BJP president VD Sharma stating that Prime Minister Modi has opened the first Hindu temple in the United Arab Emirates. Numerous other news sources, including Mint, The Indian Express, and Times of India, also carried this same story.

The same news was also shared on the Ministry of Culture’s official X handle.

What’s the truth?

Using the terms “temples in UAE” and “First temple in UAE,” we conducted a pertinent keyword search and found several results that showed other temples were being constructed in the UAE before the opening of the Abu Dhabi BAPS temple.

Amidst this BAPS temple opening, Economic Times, published an article about an Indian family living here for over 100 years, recalling its tryst with temples in Dubai.

According to the article, Bhatia says “One of the greatest examples is the oldest Hindu temple in Bur Dubai, which is close to its 100th year and opposite to the oldest mosque in Dubai, the Al-Fahidi Mosque, pointing out the peace and humility between two faiths.”

Taking that as a hint, we looked up information about the Bur Dubai temple. This took us to the website of the Shri Krishna Temple in Dubai. According to the history of the site, “In the year 1958, HH Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum granted the land next to the Mosque. Later in the year 1997, the Temple was refurbished again to give it a proper Haveli look. Haveli means temple. Shri Krishna Temple (Shrinathji Haveli) is the first Temple in the UAE.”

When we intensified our search, we came across an article published by The Hindu, stating, “Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu stone temple, describes it as a symbol of the shared heritage of humanity is inaugurated by PM Modi.” The article went on to add that, the UAE has three other Hindu temples that are located in Dubai. But this BAPS temple, spread over a large area with stone architecture, will be the largest of all in the Gulf region.

All this information clarifies that the BAPS temple is not the first temple to be inaugurated in UAE.


Therefore, we conclude that the widely circulated rumor that Prime Minister Modi recently inaugurated the UAE’s first Hindu temple is untrue.

Although there have been temples since 1958, this BAPS is the first to use stone architecture.

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Indu Meenakshi

Indu Meenakshi is a former Microbiologist-turned-journalist, works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn. She additionally holds Master’s in Management and English Literature. As a fact-checker, her job entails actively dispelling false information found online, exposing fake news, and raising public awareness.
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