Here's how Dubai's houses of worship are preparing to reopen
There is no official opening date just yet…
Whilst no official announcement for an opening date for Dubai’s houses of worship has been made just yet, preparations are said to be underway to welcome worshippers back.
According to Khaleej Times, a number of heads of religious institutions in Dubai have told them the measures that are being undertaken, so that when worshippers are allowed back in, health and safety will not be compromised.
Churches, the Hindu temple in Bur Dubai, and the Gurunanak Darbar Sikh Temple in Jebel Ali were named as some of the religious institutions that are making the provisions in anticipation.
Measures in certain houses of worship include disinfection tunnels, social-distance markers on floors, installed hand sanitiser dispensers, and lowering the capacity of believers to ensure their safety.
It is not yet clear whether there will be age restrictions on attendees to the houses of worship.
St Mary’s Catholic Church parish priest, Father Lennie Connully, said, “I am sure we are not going to be reopening with 100 per cent attendance as we used to have before the pandemic. However, we will have a restructured opening with attendance from a limited number of worshippers by following the rules of social distancing.”
Father Connully also disclosed that Mass will operate at a limited capacity, with a strict 1.5 metre distance between believers. He also said that a pre-registration system was likely to be introduced to allow this to happen, as well as there being a limited number of services.
Deep sanitisation will take place before and after a service and sanitisation tunnels will be in use.
“Those who can attend will receive a message on their mobile phones and attendees must arrive at the church an hour before Mass. Temperature checks will be conducted before people enter the church,” explained Fr Connully.
Chairman of Gurunanak Darbar Sikh Temple, Surender Singh Kandhari, has disclosed that the Gurudwara has set up two disinfection tunnels in the entrance gates of the Gurudwara. He added that temperature scanners and sanitisers would be used, and that people won’t be permitted to sit in the prayer hall after prayers are finished.
Kandhari added that the Gurudwara’s usual capacity of up to 1000 people will be reduced to 300, with lines kept moving. Additionally, prasad (sweet) and langar will be served in packets.
Continuing, Kandhari disclosed that lines will begin from the basement floor, with coolers installed so people don’t have to wait in the heat. Floor markers will allow the temple to adhere to social distancing measures.
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For wheelchair users, extra security and special facilities such as special ramps in the disinfectant tunnels have been installed.
Worshippers at the Hindu Temple Bur Dubai will be limited to a capacity of 50 people, with strict social distancing measures in place, with temperature checks and disinfection tunnels. No seated prayers are to be allowed, rather worshippers will need to keep moving.
Raju Shroff, a board member of the Hindu Temple Bur Dubai, said, “We are trying to do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of our worshippers. Temple visiting hours will be limited from 7.30 am to 10.30 am in the mornings. Only 50 people will be allowed into the temple at a given time.”
There’s no word yet on when Dubai mosques will reopen.
Image credit for Hindu Temple Bur Dubai: @murtazachevel