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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 January 2019

The papal visit will offer a powerful symbol of unity

Our readers have their say about Pope Francis and Dubai airport's winner

Pope Francis on the balcony of St Peter's Basilica during the traditional 'Urbi et Orbi' Christmas message in the Vatican City. Tiziana Fabi / AFP
Pope Francis on the balcony of St Peter's Basilica during the traditional 'Urbi et Orbi' Christmas message in the Vatican City. Tiziana Fabi / AFP

I recently read about Pope Francis’s planned visit to the UAE in February, 2019. As a Muslim resident of this beautiful country, I am extremely grateful to him for accepting the invitation of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE’s Armed Forces, to participate in the International Interfaith Meeting on Human Fraternity.

This will be his first visit to any GCC country, which makes it an even greater honour for all of us resident here in the UAE. Millions of faithful Roman Catholics around the world pray for a chance to meet the Pope and to see him in person just once in their lifetime. Many of them are members of the diverse Catholic community that exists here. For these reasons, I would like to take this opportunity to offer a warm welcome.

Pope Francis is a universally respected symbol of peace, tolerance and the promotion of brotherhood for people of all faiths around the world.

This visit will be a landmark moment for the UAE and a huge achievement in an age when populations around the globe seem so torn by conflict, prejudice, intolerance and religious strife.

This visit will provide a powerful symbol for people of all faiths and stand in refreshing contrast to events in a divided and fractious world. This is exactly what we needs more of right now.

Faraz Waqar, Dubai

A wonderful gift to Dubai’s one billionth passenger

I write with reference to your article He’s one in a billion. Dubai airport’s landmark passenger hails amazing trip (December 25).

This was a great read. In honour of him being the billionth passenger to pass through Dubai airport, 10-­year-old Arjun Jayaraman, from ­Florida, his parents and his brother were treated to an all-expenses-paid trip around the emirate.

What an amazing experience that must have been for the whole family.

Passing this vast number of passengers is an amazing achievement for Dubai airport and shows how far the city has come as both a tourist ­destination and a global travel hub.

Arjun and his parents were treated wonderfully and offered all the traditional hospitality for which the UAE is famous. I send my best wishes to all concerned.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Updated: December 25, 2018 09:12 PM

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