Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Getting Ready for Easter?

Yesterday's Gulf News reported that there will be heightened security for all Christian churches in Dubai for Easter. I noticed this on Palm Friday, but now it's official.

Car parks have been set aside for Church goers, located about 500 meters from the nearest Christian church, and about 1 km from the most distant church. Some of the most luxurious buses in the RTA fleet stand ready to transport worshippers from the car park to the churches at no charge, though, when I passed by, the car park was almost empty, as were the buses. Parking is not permitted near the churches, but worshippers tried to park as close as they were permitted, rather than using the designated car park and taking the buses. This fits with the general Dubai animus toward buses.

At the entrance to all the churches, a team of police men and women are checking bags, backpacks, and sometimes doing a body search on people who strike them as suspicious.

The news article said that the heightened security will end after Easter, and the churches will all return to a state as normal as possible, given that major construction on the Dubai Metro is taking place in at least one of the Dubai neighbourhoods where the churches are located.

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