Accepting the requests of the disciples living and working in Dubai, Acharya Swamishree, together with sants and disciples from India, Africa and the UK, embark on a five day tour of Dubai and the surrounding countries.

  Day 1 - Arrival and Dhow Cruise Images Day 2 - Desert Tour Images
  Day 3 & 4 - Musandam Images Day 4 - City Tour Images

Accepting the requests of the disciples living and working in Dubai, Acharya Swamishree, together with sants and disciples from India, Africa and the UK, embark on a five day tour of Dubai and the surrounding countries.

Day 1 - Arrival and Dhow Cruise

On Tuesday, 26th February 2008, Acharya Swamishree took an early morning Emirates flight from Ahmedabad to Dubai. During the evening that day, Acharya Swamishree, sants and disciples boarded a double-deck Dhow and went cruising on the famous Dubai Creek.

During the cruise, Acharya Swamishree performed the sandhya aarti rituals and evening discourses. The sants recited the Vachanamrut and Acharya Swamishree showered His divine blessings, in which He said:

  • The merciful supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayan came upon this earth to liberate numerous souls from the cycle of birth and death.
  • Anyone who comes into His contact gains the right to salvation and attains the eternal bliss of supreme divinity.
  • Today, Lord Swaminarayan is cruising on Dubai Creek and thus this Dhow has become His abode. We are all seated in Akshardham, whilst the Lord is disseminating His divine teachings to us all.
  • Our Gurudev, Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa first set His lotus feet on Dubai soil in 1974 and since then, Dubai has had a booming economy.
  • Our devotion to Lord Swaminarayan should be sincere; our faith unto Him should be absolute. We must never doubt any of His actions, but see the divinity in all that the Lord does. His divine deeds should always be remembered, and if these His divine deeds are remembered during one’s last breath, that soul is liberated from the cycle of birth and death. That is the purpose why the Lord embarks on pilgrimages such as these, so that disciples are given memories to remember for the rest of their lives, and in this manner, can attain the divine Akshardham of the merciful Lord Shree Swaminarayan.

After the blessings, everyone had prasad on the Dhow. After cruising for three hours, everyone returned to the dock at 11.00 pm, and remembering the trip on the Dhow with Acharya Swamishree, they rested for the night.

Day 2 - Desert Tour

On Wednesday 27 February 2008, Acharya Swamishree and the disciples went on a desert safari. In total, 26 Toyota land cruiser vehicles were hired to take the Swamibapa Group, comprising of 160 people, to the sandy Arabian Desert.

The entourage set off for the exciting tour at 3.00 pm. After an hour’s drive, they reached the edge of the desert. The land cruisers went up and down the sand dunes, throwing behind clouds of sand. At times, the land cruisers slid down the steep slopes of the sand dunes and it felt as if they would overturn. However, the expertise of the drivers prevented the vehicles from overturning. After driving for 2 hours, the entourage reached the desert camp where some disciples enjoyed camel rides.

The camp was arranged in traditional Arabian style, with low tables and cushions. Here, in the middle of the Arabian Desert, Acharya Swamishree performed the sandhya aarti rituals routines.

Sants recited the evening discourses and described the greatness of the divine Karan Satsang, which Acharya Swamishree had mercifully brought to a land where, for the souls living here, the opportunity of associating with a Sat-purush, would be otherwise be impossible. Sadguru Shashtri Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swami spoke about how here, in the middle of the Arabian Desert, Lord Shree Swaminarayan and Param Pujya Acharya Swamishree, was seated in front of the sants and disciples from Maninagar, Mumbai, Delhi, Baroda, Kutch, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, London and Bolton; and therefore, how this assembly was akin to the assemblies held before the Lord in Gadhada, in front of paramhansas and disciples from all different regions. He spoke about how this Arabian Desert had become blessed due to the presence of Lord Swaminarayan, Acharya Swamishree, sants and disciples.

This was followed by Acharya Swamishree’s divine blessings:

  • This tour of the UAE is not like any other tourist trip or holiday you may have gone to before. You are in the presence of Lord Shree Swaminarayan and His sants, and therefore, this is a great pilgrimage that you have been fortunate to have embarked on. The food that you eat is therefore the prasad of God, whilst your thoughts and deeds take the form of adoration to the almighty Lord.
  • You should pray that the Lord forever remains with you and acts through you. Whenever you do anything, it should be considered that in fact, it is Lord Shree Swaminarayan who is performing that virtuous deed. Then, you will never become arrogant or conceited about your ability or intelligence.
  • Jeevanpran Swamibapa has instilled into us all the importance of remembering the Lord constantly, and whilst doing all deeds. The Murti of God should be remembered at all times, and then, everlasting peace and divine bliss is attained whilst in this very lifetime.
  • All worldly worries and anxieties are eliminated by keeping a constant inclination of the mind towards the Murti of Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa, and remaining faithful to Shree Swaminarayan Gadi.

After the blessings, Acharya Swamishree distributed prasad to all the disciples. Everyone then enjoyed the dinner prasad. Whilst they ate, the world-famous Bollywood singer, Shree Sanjay Omkar, provided musical entertainment by singing devotional songs.

The Swamibapa Group left the Arabian Desert at 9.30 pm and after an hour’s drive, reached Dubai where they were staying for the night.

Day 3 - City Tour

On Thursday 28 February 2008, the disciples went on a tour of Dubai city. The group visited The Heritage Village, the colourful textile market, Gold and Spice Souq, Jumeirah Beach, Burj Al Arab, the 7-star world’s tallest hotel, and also drove past some of the Sheikh’s palaces in the region of Palm Jumeirah. They passed by the world’s tallest building, Burj Dubai, which is still under construction and other some of the other sky-scraper buildings of Dubai. The group gathered at the Emirates Hills residence for lunch prasad.

During the afternoon, the group visited the huge shopping malls, Mall of Emirates and IBN Batuta Mall.

In the evening, Acharya Swamishree performed the sandhya aarti rituals at the Emirate Hills villas where Acharya Swamishree and the sants were residing during their stay in the country.

Day 4 - Musandam, Oman

On Friday 29 February 2008, Acharya Swamishree and the rest of the group visited Musandam. They traveled in coaches, visiting Sharjah and Ajman on the way. During the journey, they stopped at the famous Friday Market in Masafa City and proceeded towards the Dibba part of Fujairah, and then entered the Sultanate of Oman.

In Oman, everyone boarded four traditional Omani Dhows, decked with cushions and chairs for a cruise to the spectacular Fjords of Musandam. After a two hours cruise, the Dhow anchored in the deep waters and everyone was ferried onto the beach by motor driven boats.

After having lunch prasad on the beach, disciples swam in the Arabian Sea. Acharya Swamishree sprinkled the ocean water on the sants and disciples and made it an unforgettable day.

The motor boats again ferried everyone back to the Omani Dhows. As it was already sunset, Acharya Swamishree performed the sandhya aarti rituals on the Dhow. After the cruise, everyone took their seat in the coaches for a three hour return journey to Dubai, and reached their rest areas at 10.30 pm.

Day 5 - City Tour

The first day of March was the last day of the unforgettable pilgrimage with Acharya Swamishree to Dubai. The disciples from around the world were granted Acharya Swamishree’s final darshan, before He boarded the 10.55 pm, Emirates flight to Ahmedabad, India.