Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Abu Dhabi, UAE, on February 13 where he inaugurated the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Mandir. Soon after the inauguration of the BAPS Mandir, the official X handle of the Government of India’s ministry of culture shared a video clip featuring PM Modi and the priests of the temple. The tweet said: “A Hindu Temple Whispers Change in the UAE. Witness the momentous opening of the first Hindu temple in the UAE. From a warm welcome by priests to offering prayers, PM Narendra Modi’s visit is filled with reverence and spirituality.” (Archive)

Other official X pages and individuals affiliated with the BJP and the Government of India, such as @mygovindia, @Ra_THORe, @SmritiIraniOffc, shared the same clip with the same claim that the BAPS Mandir which had been inaugurated by PM Modi was the first-ever temple in UAE.

News outlets such as DD News, PTI, Hindustan Times, Firstpost, Mint, The Indian Express, The Times of India, WION, Mirror Now and Indiatimes also amplified the claim.

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Fact Check

On running a relevant keyword search on Google we found several results related to temples in UAE. We came across an article by an outlet called Veena World published in 2022. The title of the article said: “8 Temples In Dubai You Need To Visit On Your Vacation”. The first point mentioned a temple named Shree Krishna Haveli which was constructed in 1958.

Further, we found the official website of the Shri Krishna Haveli temple where it is mentioned that it was the first temple in the UAE.

The page also mentioned: “The Shri Krishna Temple in Dubai is managed by the Mercantile Hindu Community of Thatta (Sind) – MHCT(S). MHCT(S) has been serving the Indian community in UAE since 1902.”

The Quint reached out to the BAPS temple via email and the temple’s press team confirmed that this temple was not the first one in the UAE. They mentioned that it was the first Stone Mandir in all of the Middle East.

Hence, the claim that the BAPS Temple is the first-ever Hindu temple in the UAE is false. The first temple in the UAE, Shri Krishna Haveli, was built in 1958.

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