Dubai is a city that wholeheartedly embraces expats and their diverse cultures. It offers everything one needs to settle down and feel at home. Here, individuals can find acceptance for their faith and their preferred place of worship, be it a church, synagogue, temple, or gurudwara. What more could one ask for to truly feel at home? In this blog, we will be exploring how Christianity is embraced in the city and talk about some of the popular churches found here.
Christianity in the United Arab Emirates
Despite being a Muslim country, the UAE upholds religious freedom, allowing individuals to practice their faith without interference. With Christians from Europe, Asia, Africa, and other continents, a thriving Christian population can be found here, contributing to the cultural and religious diversity of the land. Approximately 19.7% of the UAE population comprises Christians, with Catholics and Protestants forming a significant portion. However, there is a church for every Christian denomination in the country. The UAE has over 45 churches, which not only serve as places of worship but also stand as stunning architectural marvels.
Catholic, Orthodox & Marthoma Churches
Dubai has two large Catholic churches – one in the heart of Dubai (St. Mary’s Church, Oud Metha) and the other church towards New Dubai (St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Jabel Ali). The Catholic Church in Dubai has their own buildings in Dubai – one in Jebel Ali and the other in the Oud Metha Road, near the Health Care City. Traditional churches like the Catholic Church, Protestant churches, Marthoma Church, Orthodox Russian Church, and Orthodox Egyptian Church have permanent places of worship and their buildings. The Egyptian Orthodox Church in Dubai has a strong following. The Russian Orthodox church in Sharjah has a resplendent architecture.
Church Service Timings and Language Services Provided
The timings of the church service timings in the Catholic churches in Dubai are provided for St. Mary’s Church and St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. The timings of Dubai City church are also provided.
Protestant, Anglican, Evangelical, Pentecostal and Born Again Churches
The protestant churches in Dubai – The Holy Trinity Church in Oud Metha Street (5 minutes from the Health Care Metro) and The Christ Church Jebel Ali are the Anglican churches in Dubai. They generously facilitate space for many churches to have regular weekly services. These churches are called guest congregations. More than fifty churches have regular weekly services in the facility of these two churches. The churches in Sharjah are only a 15-minute drive from Dubai during off-peak traffic hours. The absence of the cross outside the churches in this region is a unique feature about the majority of the churches in the region. The churches in Abu Dhabi are less than two hours drive from Dubai.
Languages of Church Services in Dubai
Tourists visiting Dubai and residents in Dubai have options to attend regular weekly church services in over thirty languages. Christian church services are available in English, Malayalam, Hindi, Mandarin, Tamil, Russian, Arabic, Armenian, Sinhalese and so on.
15 Best Christian Churches in Dubai
Here is a list of the 15 most popular and influential churches in Dubai. These churches hold weekly prayers and organize social camps:
- St. Mary’s Catholic Church
- St. Francis of Assisi Church
- Emirates Baptist Church International
- CSI Parish
- The Dubai City Church
- Dubai Mar Thoma Parish Church
- Holy Trinity Church
- Maranatha Full Gospel Church
- The United Christian Church of Dubai
- Mor Ignatius Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Cathedral
- Covenant Hope Church Dubai
- Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
- St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church
- King’s Revival Church International Dubai
- St Thomas Orthodox Cathedral Dubai:
1. St. Mary’s Catholic Church
St Mary’s Church in Dubai, UAE is one of the oldest and most-visited churches today. Situated at 247 Oud Metha Road, this church is also the largest Roman catholic church in the world.
Before the church was formed, the services to Dubai’s Catholic Christian community were offered from Bahrain. After requests from the community, the late UAE prime minister HH Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum donated a place to carry out prayers. But, the area was far away. Then in 1965, with the help of Father Eusebio Davari, a better place was found. On May 25, 1966, Sheikh Rashid laid the foundation for the new church. Although it was demolished in 1988, the church was rebuilt again. Now it is one of the most prominent Christian Churches in Dubai.
Contact Number: +971 4 3370087
Mass Timings at St. Mary’s Catholic Church
Holy Mass (Weekday Liturgy)
Holy Mass (Obligatory)
Children’s Mass (Obligatory)
Holy Mass in Other Languages – Timings
10:30 AM – Every Friday
11:30 AM – Every Sunday
08:00 PM – Every Sunday
06:00 PM – Every Saturday
02:00 PM – Every 3rd Sunday
08:00 PM – Every 2nd & 4th Friday
02:00 PM – Every Sunday
08:15 PM – Every 4th Wednesday
08:15 PM – Every 1st & 3rd Friday
07:30 PM – Every Sunday (Mini Hall)
04:30 PM – Every 4th Sunday
07:30 PM – Every 1st Sunday
07:30 PM – Every 4th Sunday
08:00 PM – Every 3rd Wednesday
08:00 PM – Every 1st & 2nd Friday
12:45 PM – Every Sunday
08:00 PM – Every Friday
Baptisms, Confessions, Rosary, Adoration and Novena
01:30 PM – Every Saturday
02:30 PM – Every Friday
03:00 PM – 4th Saturday of every month
Baptism Seminar (Online)
08:30 AM – 2nd Sunday of every month
Novena St. Antony of Padua
07:30 PM – Every Tuesday
07:30 PM – Every Wednesday
08:30 AM – Saturday & Sunday
06:30 PM – Monday to Friday
Adoration – English
07:30 PM – Every Tuesday
05:30 PM – Every 1st Friday ((except during lent)
2. St. Francis of Assisi Church
This church was founded in 2001 and is located on Sheikh Zayed Road in Jebel Ali, near the Complex of Al Muntazah. Even though it is newer, it already has a strong parish church membership and almost 80 different groups. As a catholic church in Dubai, it serves a wide range of devout people from various backgrounds and cultures.
Contact Number: +971 4 884 5251
Holy Mass Timings at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
Saturday – 8:30 AM 5.30 PM and 7:00 PM
Sunday – 7:30 AM, 9:00 AM, 10.30 AM, 5.30 PM and 7:00 PM
Weekdays – 6:15AM, 9:00AM and 7.00 PM
Asian and European Languages Holy Masses
Saturday – 12:00 PM
Monday – 8:00 PM
Saturday – 10.00 AM
Saturday ((1st & 3rd)) – 4:00 PM
Friday (1st & 3rd) – 8:00 PM
Sunday (2nd & 4th) – 2.00 PM
Saturday & Sunday – 8.15 PM
Sunday (2nd & 4th) – 3.00 PM
Sunday (1st & 3rd) – 3:00 PM
Sunday (2nd & 4th) – 12.00 PM
Sunday (2nd & 4th) – 3.30 PM
Sunday (1st & 3rd) – 12.00 PM
Sunday (1st & 3rd) – 1.30 PM
3. Emirates Baptist Church International
There are very few baptist churches in Dubai. And Emirates Baptist Church International is one of the most prominent among them.This church is situated inside the Grand Excelsior Hotel, in Al Barsha, in Dubai, UAE. This church mainly serves the people in Al Barsha and holds weekly praying sessions on Friday. In 1928 a group of 28 believers established this church and since then it has grown and maintained its status as one of the most influential Christian Churches in Dubai.
Contact Number: +971 50 646 2079
4. CSI Parish
Situated at Oud Metha Road in Dubai, this church holds weekly prayers on Thursdays. The Bishop of Madhya Kerala in the 1970s granted permission to build this holy church. And in 1975, with the help of the Late Reverend Philip Sturdy, the CSI Parish church was established. This church also holds Sunday school for children and issues women’s memberships.
Contact Number: +971 4 337 2111
5. The Dubai City Church
The Dubai City Church is a Spirit-filled, Bible-based church. This church in Dubai is known for the Word preached. It is powerful as it is pure, and bold without any compromise. The praise and worship during the weekly services are like a refreshing oasis.
For nearly three decades, the church has led people to God’s promises and blessings in various aspects of their lives. Inspiring and encouraging weekly testimonies of lives being touched and transformed are a joy to hear. The testimonies of signs, wonders, and miracles are precious to hear. People from various walks of life – families, students, and professionals – testify to the mercies and goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ in their daily lives.
Contact Number: +971 50 705 7605
Dubai City Church Weekly Service Schedule
Main Weekly Service
Saturdays from 6 PM to 8 PM at at St. Pauls Hall, Holy Trinity Church Complex
Thursdays Holy Communion Service
Thursdays from 8:30 PM at St. Pauls Hall, Holy Trinity Church Complex
6. Dubai Mar Thoma Parish Church
This church is one of the world’s largest worshipping places for Marthomites. Syrian Christians are called Marthomites. In 1969, Christians from Kerala built this church at Jebel Ali, in Dubai, UAE. Today this church has 2200 families as its members portraying its growth over the years.
Contact Number: +971 4 884 5231
7. Holy Trinity Church
With over 30,000 worshippers, this church is one of the largest protestant churches in Dubai. It is situated near the Iranian Club, on 19th street. Anglicans believe that there is only one God but they also believe that this one God has three forms: the Holy Spirit, the Son and the Father. They are staunch believers of Jesus Christ and his teachings. Anglicans consider Jesus as the son of God and one of the most influential people to have ever walked on earth.
Contact Number: +971 4 337 0247
8. Maranatha Full Gospel Church
This church was initially founded in Bangalore in the year 1965. It was registered as a society after almost 9 years. From there it has come a long way and reached the UAE as well as the Middle East. In Dubai, its biggest branch can be found in Oud Mehta.
Contact Number: +971 50 840 9777
9. The United Christian Church of Dubai
The United Christian Church of Dubai is one of the most prominent protestant churches in Dubai and is based on the evangelical theme. The main building has Arabic architecture. This church is situated in Jebel Ali and was established in 1962. It organizes weekly prayer sessions on Fridays. One can become a member of this church by signing up for the matters classes.
Contact Number: +971 4 808 9988
10. Mor Ignatius Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Cathedral
Mor Ignatius Syrian Orthodox Cathedral is a Syrian orthodox church located in Jebel Ali. It was established in 1967 and now has over 1000 attendees. This church, like many other Christian churches in Dubai, holds regular social events like Blood donation camps.
Contact Number: +971 50 459 2844
11. Covenant Hope Church Dubai
The Covenant Hope Church in Dubai has beautiful architecture. Situated in Jebel Ali, it holds weekly prayer on Fridays. This church has the vision to instill beliefs among everyone who enters its doors. They hold weekly prayer on Sundays to teach the essence of the holy Bible among its disciples.
Contact Number: +971 50 455 7397
12. Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is a catholic church in Dubai. This is the largest Eastern Catholic Church and follows its own law. This church has many names such as Union Church, the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and the Ukrainian Catholic Church of Byzantine rite. Located at Oud Metha, this church was established in 1997.
Contact Number: +971 50 496 2404 / +971 56 757 4731
13. St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church
Located in Jebel Ali, this church is an Orthodox Christian Church. Established in 1986, it is built in the modern Coptic shape of Noah’s Ark. This church teaches the essence of the Bible and orthodoxy. It is located at Jebel Ali.
Contact Number: +971 4 884 4000
14. King’s Revival Church International Dubai
The King’s Revival Church is one of the most well-known Full Gospel Non-Denominational Pentecostal Churches in Dubai. They have their own rules and do not obey any specific sect of Christianity. One of the best aspects of this church is that it caters to a wide community and believes in diversity. It is headquartered in Oud Mehta in Dubai.
Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
15. St Thomas Orthodox Cathedral Dubai
This is another beautiful church in Dubai that is famous for its orthodox and cathedral teachings. Situated at Oud Metha Road, near Indian High School, St Thomas Church is mostly visited by Indian immigrants. The church stands out because it does not have pews and the believers sit on the softly carpeted ground to pray. However, English is not the primary language here to pray and participate in religious activities.
Contact Number: +971 4 337 1122
These are just some of the important churches in Dubai. There are also a number of smaller places of worship in the city.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Are churches allowed in Dubai?
Yes, Churches are allowed in Dubai and the rest of the UAE, even though it is an Islamic country.
How many churches are there in Dubai?
Dubai has more than 70 Christian churches. These weekly church gatherings happen in Dubai every week. Over 50 in the Holy Trinity Church complex and the Christ Church in Jabel Ali. The two Catholic churches have over 10 to 20 weekly church gatherings. And many other weekly Holy Masses are happening in the other churches in Dubai. A church is not a physical building. It is a gathering of people who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
How many churches are there in the UAE?
There are more than 140 church gatherings in the UAE. Of which over 70 churches are in Dubai.
Is the Bible allowed in Dubai?
Yes, the Bible is allowed in Dubai. Authorities do not question if someone carries a Bible or any other scripture with them while commuting.
Is Christianity Accepted in Dubai?
90% of Dubai’s population is made up of immigrants, and all religions, including Christianity, have places of worship and prayer. However, there is a law that states that people of other religions cannot convert any Muslim to Christianity, but they can convert to Islam.
Christians have the freedom to visit their churches and wear traditional Christian attire.
What is the main religion of Dubai?
Islam is the main religion in the UAE. However, the country is tolerant of other faiths.