Tolerance & Inclusion
The UAE is one of the most diverse societies in the world.
The UAE has a new vision for the Middle East region — an alternative, future-oriented ideology that promotes moderate Islam, empowers women, embraces diversity, encourages innovation, and welcomes global engagement. These values have been ingrained in the UAE's DNA since the country's founding in 1971. It explains why over 200 nationalities call the UAE home and why different religions have built 40 churches, two Hindu temples and a Sikh temple, which welcome multi-national congregations.
The Ministry of Tolerance, led by His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, implements programs that foster respect, peaceful coexistence and mutual understanding among people in the UAE.
The region’s largest Anglican Church is currently being built in Abu Dhabi and will accommodate more than 4,000 worshipers once complete. In 2017, Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan renamed a mosque in Abu Dhabi to “Mary, Mother of Jesus” to build stronger understanding between Christians and Muslims. Reverend Canon Andy Thompson, Chaplain of St Andrew's Church in Abu Dhabi, describes the UAE as “a model for religious tolerance in the region.”
The UAE is committed to encouraging values of tolerance and coexistence through government policies, interfaith dialogue and international partnerships. Numerous UAE-US collaborations underscore shared principles of tolerance and inclusion.
The UAE is dedicated to promoting moderate Islam and countering extremist interpretations of the faith.
The UAE is leading efforts to promote tolerance and compassion through Islam, countering the root causes of extremism and disrupting the messages that lead to radicalization. Along those lines, to prevent violent extremist preaching in UAE religious centers, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments works closely with religious leaders in the UAE and monitors possible violations.
In addition, the UAE is host to the Sawab Center, a bilateral initiative between the UAE and US to counter extremist propaganda and terrorist messaging in the online space. Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, this joint digital communications hub utilizes social media platforms to amplify credible voices to speak out against ISIS and counter false extremist claims.
The UAE is also home to Hedayah, a global think tank that provides communities and governments around the world with tools to increase their capabilities to counter extremism and recruitment efforts by terrorist organizations.
The UAE’s holistic approach to countering violent extremism includes regular coordination with the US government.