Dubai is famous for its high skyscrapers, numerous shopping centers, and luxury tourism. However, Dubai is also becoming known as a center for religious conversion. According to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, 4,229 people embraced Islam in Dubai in 2012. The majority of the converts (70%) were women.
Statistics say that Islam is the fastest growing among over 4,200 religions in the world today, with the emirate of Dubai seeing the conversion of more than 4,000 people last year.
There were 4,229 in all who converted to Islam at the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities (Diaca) and the Islamic Information Centre of the Dubai government-run Dar Al Ber Society.
A group of new converts attending a lecture on the teachings of Islam at the Islamic Information Centre of Dar Al Ber Society in Dubai.— Supplied photo
Diaca saw the conversion of 2,322 residents from 77 different countries — 70 per cent of whom were women. Diaca director-general Hamad Al Shaibani said the department spared no effort to convey the tolerant message of Islam, develop awareness about Islamic culture, and enhance national identity.
“We also pay much attention to new Muslims and provide them with an array of lectures, activities and training courses for them and their family members.”
Dr Al Shaibani said Diaca provided new converts with all facilities needed to help them truly embrace Islam, officially authenticate their conversion, and reply to all their queries about the teachings of the new religion.
“They are also equipped with all possible publications, CDs, cassettes, and booklets on Islam in different languages.”
Aisha Al Kash, Head of Religious Orientation and Education Section, affirmed that all the new Muslims have reverted to Islam in their own free will: “People are touched by the merciful instructions of Islam which orders its followers to be honest, fair and kind to all people, disregard their religion, race, language and colour.”
Meanwhile, the Islamic Information Centre of the Dubai government-run Dar Al Ber Society saw a significant rise in converts last year, jumping to 1,907 residents as compared to 1,380 in 2011.
Centre director Rashid Aljunaibi said since its inception in 1993, the centre had seen the conversion of over 15,000 people from 200 different nationalities in the UAE.
“Non-Muslims also have a good chance to meet new Muslims and listen to many conversion stories from their compatriots in their own languages.”