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Religion and Spirituality
Practicing Faith and Worship in Abu Dhabi
Islam is the official religion of the United Arab Emirates. In addition to the many mosques located throughout the country, there are places of worship available for people to practice different faiths and religions.
Christians can find Anglican, Evangelical, Roman Catholic, and Greek Orthodox churches not far from our campus. In Dubai (our neighboring emirate), you can find mosques, churches (including a Russian Orthodox Church) and a Hindu Temple.
We also provide initiatives for you to explore and deepen your connection with different spiritual practices and faiths.
During the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Muslim population in the UAE fast before sunrise, to sunset. During fasting hours, Muslims do not eat, drink, or smoke. Although non-Muslims are expected to follow the rules of fasting in public, they are allowed to eat, drink and smoke in private. In most workplaces including NYU Abu Dhabi, a private space is provided for non-Muslims to have their meals during Ramadan.
Leading up to each year's Ramadan, we host Ahlan Ramadan (meaning “hello Ramadan” in Arabic) to understand Ramadan rituals and its meanings. You can participate in some of the dialogues, activities, and maybe choose to participate in a fasting experience yourself.
Supporting Your Spiritual Development
We understand and support your spiritual development and have on-campus facilities and events for you.
We have six prayer rooms (three for male and and three females), as well as a multi-faith room where we sponsor a lending library.
The multifaith room is a quiet space for reflection, prayer and meditation open to all students to use for their own personal spiritual and/or faith practice. The room is also available to reserve for small gatherings such as meditation circles, religious student groups meetings, or interfaith dialogues.
During the school year, we help arrange free transportation to some Muslim mosques, Christian churches, and Hindu temples for our undergraduate students. If our school buses do not go to your place of worship, your travel costs can be reimbursed.
Because students at NYUAD are often far from their home faith communities, NYU New York Chaplains are available to speak with students via phone or video conference. Our Student Life advisors and local affiliates are also available for pastoral care and support. This may include comfort in times of sorrow, prayer in times of need, and conversation regarding spiritual reflection and vocational discernment.
Programs Organized by Students
We support students with faith-inspired cultural events, and also have a number of student interest groups (SIGs) organized around spiritual practices.
Some of these programs include Bible study, fellowship and prayer partners in Christian tradition, sharing insight into Jewish culture and tradition, as well as hold events and community service learning about the Islamic faith.