News Release

Sikh Leaders from Dubai Meet with First Presidency

Surender and Bubbles Kandhari also visit Washington D.C. Temple

Two prominent Sikh leaders in the Middle East recently visited the global headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Surender Singh Kandhari and Bubbles Kandhari met with the Church’s First Presidency on Friday, April 29, 2022.

The Kandharis described their meeting with President Russell M. Nelson, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring as “warm and hospitable.”

Also attending the meeting was Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Jeffrey H. Singer of the Middle East/Africa North Area Presidency and his wife, Sandra.

Bubbles Kandhari said the experience left her “speechless.”

“There are no words to describe how much love is there between all of you and how much love you have given us,” she said. “It was amazing and we are really so happy and honored to be here.”

“We have known Surender and Bubbles Kandhari for several years and have long admired their generous service to those in need, and their significant interfaith outreach,” said Elder Jeffrey H. Singer. “We’re grateful the First Presidency was able to visit with them and discuss the many things we share in common.”

The Kandharis also visited Welfare Square to learn about the Church’s efforts to help those in need.

“What I noticed was the commitment of people and the dedication of people,” Surender Kandhari said. “We’re really proud to be associated with the Church and its Latter-day Saint Charities. We have a joint program in Dubai, where we serve the blue-collar people, the needy people. I think this is just the beginning. There is a lot more work to do.”

“It was beyond any imagination," said Bubbles Kandhari. "I couldn't even think the extent to which you all go, the quality and the volunteers who are helping. It is not a small thing. It's a huge effort and a huge organization.” 

Surender Kandhari and Bubbles Kandhari serve as chairman and vice-chairperson, respectively, of the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara, Dubai, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The Gurudwara is the first Sikh temple in the United Arab Emirates, and the largest in the Gulf region, hosting 50,000 devotees. The Gurudwara offers the daily Sikh tradition of langar, a free vegetarian meal, to all who enter. Since its opening in 2012, the Gurudwara in Dubai has served free meals to over eight million visitors.

The visit to Salt Lake City included a lunch with members of Utah’s Sikh community and a visit to the Sikh Temple of Utah. The Sikh representatives said that they were honored to meet with the Kandharis.

“I know the service they are doing and what they are doing for the community there in Dubai,” JB Singh, the chairman of the Sikh temple of Utah, said. “We feel proud that our Sikh people are coming and also enjoy when we are all together as members of the interfaith community.”

Before their stop in Utah, the Kandharis also visited the Church’s Washington D.C. Temple. The temple is currently hosting a public open house for the first time since 1974 after undergoing extensive renovations.

“It was an amazing experience,” Surender Kandhari said of their visit to the temple. “It shows the commitment of you to each other and the feeling of family.”

“The Celestial Room was surreal,” Bubbles Kandhari said. “It just connected immediately to sit down there quietly, without any sound. You don't want to get up from there. You just want to be there forever.”

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