Pope Francis arrived at an Abu Dhabi sports stadium Tuesday to hold a public Mass for an estimated 170,000 Catholics on the first ever Papal visit to the Gulf.
The pope waved at an enthusiastic crowd carrying Vatican flags and banners as he drove into Zayed Sports City Stadium, where an altar with a large cross was set up for the open-air service in a country that borders the birthplace of Islam.
Francis, who has made outreach to Muslim communities a cornerstone of his papacy, is wrapping up an historic three-day visit to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.
"How beautiful it is for brothers to be joined under this sky," said an MC in Arabic shortly after the pope's arrival around 10:00am.
Pope Francis' trip has been warmly welcomed by Catholic migrants in the UAE, home to large Filipino and Indian communities.
Asian nationals make up about 65 percent of the population and are crucial to all sectors in the Gulf state, from construction to services and hotels.
(Source: Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia YouTube channel)