Brunswick's Simon Pluckrose on the historic visit of Pope Francis to the Arabian Peninsula.
His holiness Pope Francis is used to a big occasion. But when he celebrated a Papal Mass for more than 180,000 people in Abu Dhabi in February, the event was groundbreaking by even his standards. What set it apart was not the size of the congregation but the setting. It was the first time a Head of the Catholic Church had visited the Arabian peninsula.
This was a remarkable moment for the UAE, both domestically and internationally. It’s a country long associated with superlatives, but this “first” was not about setting or breaking records; it was a reflection of the nation’s ambitions to be a leader within the international community.