Video shows rendition of Hindu temple being built in UAE, not Saudi Arabia

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A video has been shared repeatedly on Facebook and YouTube alongside a claim it shows the first Hindu temple in Muslim-majority Saudi Arabia. But the clip has been shared in a misleading context; it actually shows an animation of a Hindu temple in the United Arab Emirates that was still under construction as of May 10, 2022.

The 27-second clip was shared here on Facebook on March 29, 2022.

The post’s Bengali-language caption translates to English as: “The first Hindu temple in Saudi Arabia, Hail Shri Ram”.

Screenshot of the misleading post, captured on April 24, 2022 ( AFP)

The video contains Bengali-language text that translates as: “Saudi Arabia's first Hindu temple”. It also includes the text "Abu Dhabi” -- the capital of Muslim-majority UAE -- in brackets.

The same clip was shared here and here on Facebook alongside a similar claim.

Bengali is the official language of Muslim-majority Bangladesh, and is spoken widely in neighbouring Indian states.

Temple in Abu Dhabi

The clip has been shared in a misleading context.

The original video shows a digital rendition of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.

The 30-minute, five-second video was posted on BAPS' verified YouTube channel on April 23, 2019.

The caption reads: “BAPS Hindu Mandir Foundation Stone-Laying Ceremony, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 20 April 2019”.

The clip seen in the misleading posts starts from the original video's 17-minute, 51-second mark.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the clip in the misleading posts (L) and the YouTube video (R): 

A spokesperson from the BAPS temple authority told AFP: “This video is the architecture rendition of the BAPS Hindu Mandir (temple) in Abu Dhabi. It is the first traditional stone-made Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.”

Gulf News published a photographic report on the progress of the temple's construction on November 20, 2020.

The construction is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2024, according to the spokesperson.