In April of 2020, President Russell M. Nelson made the exciting announcement that the first temple in the Middle East would be built in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. And this past week, Elder David A. Bednar and his wife, Susan, visited the area where the temple will be built.
“It makes great sense that the temple would be located in this vicinity,” Elder Bednar says with a smile in a Church Newsroom video. “Transportation systems have been oriented to bring people to this location, and it’s in a very dynamic area. The Lord has picked a perfect location for His temple.”
The United Arab Emirates is home to almost 10 million people—just 2,000 Latter-day Saints—and the new temple will serve a total of 8,000 Saints living in two stakes across the Gulf states and a number of wards and branches in the Middle East, northern Africa, eastern Europe and western Asia.
Latter-day Saint Jo Ann Marker has lived in Dubai for 32 years and expressed joy at having the blessing of a nearby temple.
“When I heard the temple announcement, I cried because. . . I’ve been praying and fasting for that for 30 years,” she said through tears.
Elder Bednar also posted on his Facebook page about his visit to Dubai with Sister Bednar. He said that the trip “has been a remarkable experience that Susan and I will never forget.”
Read more about the Elder and Sister Bednar’s visit to Dubai at Newsroom.