Pope Francis will visit Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in February to attend an interfaith meeting, the Vatican announced on Thursday, in response to an invitation from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
The trip will take place from Feb. 3-5. The Vatican said the pope had accepted an invitation from His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputry Supreme Commanader of the UAE Armed Forces and the Catholic community there.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai welcomed the news with a tweet. “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,” he tweeted.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed has also tweeted welcoming the visit of the pope to the UAE.
“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 dialogue on the peaceful coexistence among peoples,” he tweeted.