UAE: Imams, preachers and muezzins thank Dubai for granting them Golden Visas

Sheikh Mohammed announced the exclusive residency visa ahead of Eid Al Fitr


By Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Sun 1 May 2022, 5:48 PM

Last updated: Sun 1 May 2022, 9:34 PM

Scholars all over Dubai have wholeheartedly welcomed the government's move to grant Golden Visas to imams, preachers, and muezzins, who have been serving in Dubai for over 20 years.

“This is indeed a kind gesture from our leader for those who are serving the religion and raising the society's spirituality,” said Sheikh Ayaz Housee, Resident imam of Next Generation School and Khateeb at Al Manar Center.

“This move will indeed motivate the new generation to pursue further studies in Islam to become spiritual leaders of the community. I have been an imam for 10 years and I hope this blessed gesture by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will soon expand to include us as well.”

The gesture, which comes ahead of Eid Al Fitr, is under the directives of Sheikh Mohammed. It is in appreciation of the their efforts in introducing the teachings of Islam and spreading the values of tolerance, especially in Ramadan.

Sheikh Abdul Hameed Zafar has been in the UAE since 1984 and started working as an imam since 2008. He currently leads the congregation at a mosque in International City. “This is very encouraging news for people like us,” he said. “It feels great to be recognised for the kind of work we are doing. Also, we always have a worry in the back of our minds about what we will do after our retirement. This move allays our fears and gives us confidence to call the UAE our forever home. I am looking forward to completing 20 years as imam and getting my Golden Visa.”

Sheikh Abdul Hameed Zafar
Sheikh Abdul Hameed Zafar

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, thanked the imams of mosques, preachers, and muezzins, emphasising that their 'pivotal' role in society is highly appreciated.

Sheikh Hussain Kakkad is a preacher who delivers Friday Khutbah at the Masjid Souq Al Ghowair. “This news makes me very happy,” he said. “Imams, muezzins, and preachers do their jobs without hoping for a worldly reward. However, any kind of appreciation for one's work makes them feel seen and heard, especially when it pertains to something which will significantly ease their residency in a country.

Sheikh Hussain Kakkad
Sheikh Hussain Kakkad


“A Golden Visa is something anyone who lives in this country aspires for, and it is a matter of great honour that imams and preachers are now able to apply for it as well. The Rulers of this country deserve to be praised for their clear priorities in retaining the best Islamic scholars in UAE. It will definitely inspire us all and will contribute to strengthening the religious and moral fabric of this country.”

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