His Holiness Catholicos Aram I highlighted the accomplishments of the Armenian community of Dubai, where the construction of a new church and new center is under way, and reaffirmed the commitment of the Great House of Cilicia to strong Armenia-Diaspora ties during his pontifical visit of January 21-30. His Holiness had several meetings at the highest levels of government, met with community leadership, gave lectures, and spread his message everywhere.

A formal banquet in honor of the Catholicos was held in Dubai, with 400 attendees, including the Ambassador of Armenia in the United Arab Emirates, Karen Grigorian.

Prior to His Holiness’ message at the banquet, His Grace Bishop Mesrob Sarkissian, Prelate of the UAE and Qatar, and community officials addressed the public, speaking about projects to revitalize the community and the 25th anniversary of the St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Sharjah.

In his speech, the Catholicos highlighted the accomplishments of the local prelacy over the past decade under Bishop Mesrob. He also commended the Prelate’s initiatives and his work promoting relations with the government and other communities.

After congratulating the community on the anniversary of the church, he extolled the clergy’s service to the UAE community and expressed his joy over the construction of a new church and youth center in Dubai. He stressed the importance of Armenia-Diaspora relations, reiterating the Holy See’s unwavering commitment to strengthening them as well as the homeland.

During the banquet, the Catholicos also bestowed the Cilician Knight medal upon Ara Keoseian, and the St. Mesrob Mashdots medal upon Moushegh Bedirian, in recognition of their devoted service.