Situated on the southern edges of Dubai, the Gurunanak Darbar Temple has been a place of worship for the city’s 50,000-plus Sikh population since its opening in 2012. This opulent temple is open to Sikhs for worship and ceremonies, as well as non-Sikhs keen to experience its interior and a slice of Sikh religion and culture.
Taking inspiration from the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar in India’s Punjab province, the 5-story Gurunanak Darbar is fronted by a pool—an echo of the Punjabi temple’s sarovar lake. Inside, visitors are greeted with a grand staircase and impressive prayer hall with a gold, lotus-shaped dome that holds the sacred Sikh scriptures of the Sri Guru Granth Sahbi. Each day, singers chant hymns and devotees arrive to pay their respects to the scriptures’ teachings.
Other areas of the temple include a ceremonial function hall, meditation room, and a kitchen and dining hall where volunteers serve around 1,000 vegetarian meals a week—plus 10,000 meals on Fridays—to devotees and visitors as part of the Sikh ideal of seva: serving others. The temple is open to all—Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike who want to experience religious rituals, history, and spirituality.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Gurunanak Darbar is a must-visit for all Sikh and spiritually minded visitors to Dubai.
- The temple maintains a strict dress code; short skirts, sleeveless tops, and shorts are not permitted, and head coverings must be worn.
- Be prepared to remove your shoes before entering.
- All visitors can enjoy the vegetarian food served in the dining hall.
- The temple gets busy on Fridays, so consider visiting on another day to avoid the crowds.
- Basement parking is available, and there’d usually ample street parking nearby.
How to Get There
The Gurunanak Darbar is located near Jebel Ali Village to the south of Dubai, just off the Sheikh Zayed Road/D57 junction. To get here, take a cab from Dubai, or ride the Dubai Metro red line to the Ibn Battuta Mall metro station and hire a cab to the temple from there.
When to Get There
The temple is open to visitors every day of the year (4:30am–8:30pm).
The Temple Kitchen
Be sure to peek inside the Gurunanak Darbar’s kitchen during a visit. This spotless stainless-steel facility, always a hotbed of activity, is equipped with colossal cooking pots and a chapati flatbread-maker that turns out 1,800 chapatis every day.