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United Christian Church of Dubai
United Christian Church of Dubai building
Location Churches Complex, Jebel Ali Village, Dubai
Country United Arab Emirates
Denomination Evangelical
Weekly attendance1,000+
FoundedFebruary 5, 1962; 62 years ago (1962-02-05)

The United Christian Church of Dubai [1] (UCCD) is an evangelical church. It was first established in 1962 as a fellowship of expatriate workers in the Emirates. One thousand people from over 50 nationalities attended the weekly services. [2]



In 1977, many expatriate Christians were arriving in Dubai. A small fellowship of Christians constituted itself as a church, called the International Evangelical Church of Dubai. A pastor was called, and a statement of doctrine was adopted. In the following year, the first constitution was accepted. At that time, the church met on Sundays in the Jumeirah American School (now the American School of Dubai), and Sunday School were held there in the afternoons.

Due to international tensions in the 1980s, the church was asked to leave the Jumeirah American School for security reasons. For a while, the church met in hired hotel rooms and later in an English School and The Cambridge High School, by arrangement with the school's owner, Mrs Varkey.


The church leased a villa in Jumeirah (the “Jumeirah Villa”), from 1990 to September 2003. The building continued to be used for Sunday evening services and other churches’ meetings until the Dubai Municipality ordered the villa's closure in June 2006.

With the Villa as a permanent place of worship, the church grew significantly. In 1990, a Friday morning service was started by 4 families. This grew to become the main gathering of the church. The Villa was also used by other Christian groups, including the Arabic Evangelical Church of Dubai (AECD). In 1994, an informal group composed of UCCD, AECD, and others applied for a grant of land from the Ruler of Dubai on which to construct a church building. In 1998, the Ruler of Dubai granted a piece of land to these churches, and fundraising commenced for a building.


In September 2003, Friday services commenced at the new Dubai Evangelical Church Centre [3] (“DECC”) in Maranatha Hall at the Churches Complex in Jebel Ali Village. It is located within the complex alongside church buildings of other denominations. [4] By 2009 the total cost of construction had been covered (primarily by members of UCCD) and all loans repaid.

In 2010, UCCD sent out a number of members and staff to establish a sister church, Redeemer Church of Dubai, [5] on the opposite side of Dubai. UCCD continued to support RCD financially until 2012, by which time it had grown into a self-supporting church.

Although licences to hold Christian worship or build churches in Dubai are restricted, [4] UCCD's pastor joined other Christian leaders in 2011 to express their gratitude to the Government for their freedom to meet. [6]

See also


  1. ^ United Christian Church of Dubai website
  2. ^ "Who We Are". The United Christian Church of Dubai. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  3. ^ "Dubai Evangelical Church Centre". Archived January 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Diana Elias; Raissa Kasolowsky (8 October 2010). "Christians in Arab Gulf face hurdles to worship". Reuters. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  5. ^ Redeemer Church of Dubai website
  6. ^ "Dubai churches greet UAE on Eid Al Fitr". Emirates247. 13 September 2011. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2012.