Organisers of the Papal Mass in Abu Dhabi have now released additional details about the locations of bus pick-up points across the UAE and the times that individuals will need to be there on 5th February.
The highly detailed transport plan, including free buses from the UAE Government, is designed to ensure that the 135,000 attendees are able to access the Mass and comes as Catholic Church parishes across the country start to distribute tickets.
There will be multiple pick-up points at locations in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and single pick-up points located in Al Ain, Jebel Ali, Mussafah and Ruwais and at the Yas Gateway park and ride facility on Yas Island. Residents of Sharjah will use only one hub in Dubai, which is in the Muhaisnah district.
The opening and closing timings of the access hubs are planned taking into account the that mass schedule and to ensure the smooth arrival of the Catholic community at the venue. The locations and timings that individuals need to observe with regard to the access hubs are marked on their Transport Ticket issued to them along with their Entry Ticket to the Mass.
Organisers are encouraging individuals to bring their own food and beverages while they are gathering at the pick-up points and during the bus journey.
It will not be permitted to take food and beverages into the venue that will be reached by a short walk of between 0.5km and 1km from the bus drop-off points. Water will be provided within the venues.
Commenting on the transport plans and logistics for the Mass, Fr. Michael O’Sullivan, the UAE Papal Visit Coordinator on behalf of the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia, said: "We have been working closely to ensure the most efficient way to help the tens of thousands of our parishioners who wish to participate in the Mass reach Abu Dhabi by buses.
"Naturally the logistics behind something of this scale are hugely complex and the timings reflect the sheer numbers of people who are expected to travel and to ensure that everyone is able to reach the Zayed Sports Stadium area in plenty of time for the Mass.
"As the Mass will be taking place in the morning the timings are in place to ensure that there is a balanced flow of individuals coming to their designated pick-up point to benefit from the free transport the UAE Government has so generously provided."
He added that Papal Mass attendees should retain their transport ticket for the return journey and as the event is a ticketed only one, he urged individuals to ensure they check and stay in touch with their local parish coordinators for updates and additional information now that the distribution of tickets has commenced.