Residents line up for last-minute papal mass tickets in UAE
Residents wait to purchase tickets for the papal mass to be held in Abu Dhabi.- Supplied photo
Dubai - A lot of people persevered and were determined to get their access pass to such a once-in-a-lifetime occasion.
Some Dubai residents were lucky enough to grab last-minute tickets for the papal mass, which will be held at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on February 5.
After hearing the 6:00pm mass on February 3 at St Mary's Catholic Church in Oud Metha, Filipino Reymund Resquites lined up for the distribution of tickets after church organisers announced that they would be giving away unclaimed tickets.
"I was not able to pre-register online and I was afraid I would miss the chance of seeing the pope, but I took a chance here. After queuing up for about an hour, I was able to get one," Resquites told Khaleej Times.
A lot of people persevered and were determined to get their access pass to such a once-in-a-lifetime occasion.
Friends Gabriel Tatay, 37; Carmela Viray, 46; Cristalyn Aguilos, 40; and Arnel Bayani, 33, rushed to St Mary's Church right after work on February 3.
After a couple of hours of waiting, they were overwhelmed at being given the chance to get tickets, and said "attending the mass officiated by Pope Francis will not only give them personal joy and blessing, it will also reach their families back home in the Philippines."
"We are already feel blessed just by getting the tickets. At (today's) mass, we will be praying for good health, protection and blessings for our families," the group said.
Viray added that she would be fasting for a day, before attending the mass.
Another Dubai resident and Indian expat Renil Luvis was also elated when he got his pass. "It is my first time to attend a mass celebrated by the pope, and I hope to see him up close. I will also pray for my wife and kid who are in Kerala," he said.
Many people who waited for hours, however, were not able to get tickets. A volunteer at St Mary's Church said only around 40,000 tickets were allocated for the parish and seats at the stadium are limited.
Parish priest Rev Fr Lennie Connully had to patiently explain to hundreds of parishioners that all tickets had already been distributed. He added that the mass will be live-streamed today from Abu Dhabi.
Officemates Eileen Fajardo and Ann de Ocampo, who work at Silicon Oasis, said they hope they will be given a chance to watch the mass online even while at work.