​The United Arab Emirates welcomed His Holiness Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, on his ground-breaking visit to the UAE, which took place February 3-5, 2019. Held at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, the official welcome ceremony was attended by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The welcome ceremony was followed by the joint visit of His Holiness Pope Francis and Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Chairman of the Council of Muslim Elders, to the Founder’s Memorial in Abu Dhabi. During His Holiness’s visit to the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the inauguration of the Human Fraternity Award, with the first award being presented to His Holiness Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb in recognition of their efforts to spread peace in the world.