Singapore firm to lead construction of Abu Dhabi Hindu temple

Sadhu Brahma Viharidas, who is in charge of the Middle East at BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, at the signing ceremony.

Abu Dhabi: The entity constructing Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu temple announced that it has selected a Singaporean firm to lead an international team of experts in developing the historic temple complex. 

Marking an important milestone on its path to constructing the temple in Abu Dhabi, Mandir Limited, the legal entity registered with the Abu Dhabi Government for the temple project, along with BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, a global organisation managing Hindu temples,  announced the project’s lead consultant and designer on Saturday. 

Raglan Squire and Partners (RSP), an architectural firm based in Singapore, will lead and oversee the design and construction of the much-anticipated temple complex, said a press release issued by Mandir Limited on Saturday. 

As Gulf News exclusively reported on July 24, with the registration of  Mandir Ltd with the Abu Dhabi Global Market made the preparations for the construction, including selecting a consultant, in full swing.

The Ministry of Community Development has also approved the entity as a charity, enabling it to open a bank account and receive donations from people for the construction. 

An agreement regarding the appointment of RSP was signed by Dr B.R. Shetty, Chairman of Mandir Limited and  Lai Huen Poh, Global Managing Director of RSP Architects, Planners and Engineers.

Navdeep Singh Suri, the Indian Ambassador  to the UAE,  and Samuel Tan Chi Tse, Ambassador of Singapore to the UAE were the guests of honour at the signing ceremony. 

Suri said:  “India, and the Indians here in the UAE, recognise that the UAE shares in our values of inclusiveness and mutual progress, and today’s event is representative of that. Our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made his commitment so we must honour our ability and efforts. The UAE has the highest spirit of tolerance and allows people of all faiths and cultures to coexist,”  the envoy said. 

Samuel Tan Chi Tse said he was very pleased that a Singaporean firm was chosen for this auspicious project. “The nation of Singapore would not be what it is today without the contribution from India. We treasure and guard the same values as India and the UAE. The entire essence of this project serves as an example of how different faiths and nationalities can come together,” he said. 

Dr. B.R. Shetty said  the architectural firm was chosen after a very intense process. 

The temple with seven towers representing the seven emirates in the UAE will come up on a 14-acre land at Abu Mureikhah of Al Rahba area on Abu Dhabi-Sweihan-Al Ain road, close to Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, generously granted land for the temple. 

Sadhu Brahmaviharidas, overseeing the temple project from the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, said: “The land of the UAE has opened its heart and has allowed unknown people to harmoniously come together. Today’s historic occasion officially unites three nations, the UAE, India and Singapore, for the creation of a Hindu Temple,” he said. 

BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha’s traditional architects (known as sompuras) and engineers will design the stone temple. The exterior of the temple  will be made of pink sandstone from Rajasthan and the interior from white marble that will be handcrafted by artisans in India. RSP’s experts from Singapore, India and the UAE will form a team with BAPS’s core team and other respected sub consultants like Ramboll to develop a vibrant cultural and spiritual centre.

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