A small Jewish community in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, founded its first synagogue in the city, according to a report by Bloomberg news channel.
The community is made up of Jews from other countries who work in the financial, legal, energy and diamond fields. Three years ago, they rented a house in a quiet residential area so they could pray.
The building includes a kosher kitchen, several guest bedrooms, and a number of residents who observe the Shabbat.
“We’ve come a long way since I started traveling to Dubai 30 years ago and I was told to try to avoid using my last name because it sounded too Jewish,” said Eli Epstein, a New Yorker who helped build the synagogue and donated a Torah scroll.
Although the situation has improved, synagogue members asked not to reveal where the temple is located.
Bloomberg’s report indicates that the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates currently see Iran as a much greater danger than Israel. The establishment of the synagogue and the spread of its existence could be linked to improved relations between Israel and the “moderate” Sunni Arab countries.