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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Worldwide leader of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Francis, touched down in Abu Dhabi for a three-day trip to strengthen interfaith dialogue and understanding in support of peace. Etihad Airways, as the UAE’s national airline, is celebrating this first ever papal visit to the Arabian Gulf with festivities in its offices and on board its flights in recognition of the UAE’s Year of Tolerance. 

The UAE is hosting the pontiff in a visit that recognises Abu Dhabi as a multi-cultural, multi-faith global capital. On Tuesday 5 February, Pope Francis will deliver a papal mass to an expected congregation of 120,000 people at Zayed Sports City.

The papal mass will also be available to watch on board Etihad Airways aircraft through a live broadcast of this historic event on inflight entertainment screens and at the airline’s lounges worldwide. The live screening will also be available for Etihad employees to enjoy in selected locations throughout the company’s offices.

In recognition of the significance of this event, Etihad Aviation Group employees with confirmed tickets for the mass will be given the day off in order to attend, subject to operational requirements.

At the end of his visit, Etihad Airways is honoured to be flying the pontiff back to Rome’s Ciampino Airport on an Etihad Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Etihad Aviation Group is home to more than 150 nationalities across its 23,000-strong workforce and the Pope’s visit is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the diversity and spirit of co-operation witnessed throughout the company.

His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence Dr Ahmad At-Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif will attend the Human Fraternity Conference, a global inter-faith gathering in the UAE capital aimed at bringing together faiths and cultures with an aim to foster tolerance and inter-faith dialogue.

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