Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 May 2019

Pope in UAE: Abu Dhabi roads to remain open on Mass day

Organisers previously said the roads would be closed to private vehicles on the day the Pope delivers Mass at Zayed Sports City Stadium

Pope Francis greets devotees after landing in Panama this week. He is due in Abu Dhabi on February 3. Marvin Recinos / AFP 
Pope Francis greets devotees after landing in Panama this week. He is due in Abu Dhabi on February 3. Marvin Recinos / AFP 

Church organisers of Pope Francis' public Mass have clarified that the roads in Abu Dhabi will remain open to private cars on February 5.

Buses will transport ticket-holders near to Zayed Sports City where they must walk between 500 metres to 1 kilometre to the designated areas for the Mass, organisers said in a statement on Thursday.

An estimated 135,000 people are expected to attend the service and free buses will be provided by the government.

Church officials had initially said that no private cars from outside the city would be allowed on Abu Dhabi island on the day of the Mass, but organisers have since clarified that the bridges would remain open to cars.

The Mass is a ticketed event and people must obtain an entry ticket and a transport ticket to be used for travel at access hubs from where they can board a bus to the stadium.

Details of each hub will be released closer to the date. Families with children over the age of two must ensure each child has their own ticket.

Organisers warned that those without tickets would not be allowed to enter the stadium.

Others can drive to Abu Dhabi and board buses that will be arranged from Yas Gateway Park on Yas Island. Individuals with tickets for the sermon will also need to request travel tickets to ensure they can park and avail the shuttle bus service.

Residents who prefer to walk to the venue must carry their tickets for entry to the Mass and also their Emirates identity cards, organisers said.

“We have been working closely with the authorities in the capital to ensure that the transport and travel arrangements run as smoothly as possible for such a momentous occasion,” said Michael O’Sullivan, UAE papal visit co-ordinator.

“We stress that the event is a ticketed only one and urge individuals to check and stay in touch with their local parish co-ordinators for updates and additional information they may require to ensure they receive both their entry and transport tickets and select the access hub that is most convenient to them.”

Updated: January 24, 2019 06:00 PM

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