Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass in Kaunas
Pope FrancisReuters

Pope Francis will be creating history when he visits the United Arab Emirates for the first time on Sunday.

He will stay there for less than 48 hours but will give two public addresses during his visit.

The Pope is scheduled to reach Abu Dhabi Presidential Airport on February 3 when he will be received by UAE's Crown Prince.

On Monday morning, the Pope will attend a formal welcome ceremony in front of the Presidential Palace and will have a formal meeting with the Crown Prince. In the evening, Pope Francis will visit the Grand Mosque where he will meet the members of the Muslim Council of Elders.

On February 5, Tuesday, the Pope will go on a private visit to the Cathedral.

One of the most looked forward to events during his visit is the Holy Mass at the Zayed Sports City Stadium.

UAE's crown prince Mohamed Bin Zayed took to Twitter to welcome the Pope to the country.

He tweeted, "We warmly welcome you Holy Father, Pope Francis and look forward to the historic Human Fraternity Meeting between you and His Eminence Dr Ahmad Al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif, in Abu Dhabi. We are hopeful that generations to come will prosper in peace and security."

The Pope also mentioned his upcoming visit to the UAE on Thursday in a video message. He began his message with 'Al Salamu Alaikum (Peace be with you)'.

He then said, "I am happy for this occasion the Lord has given me to write, on your dear land, a new page in the history of relations between religions. Faith in God unites and does not divide, it draws us closer despite differences, it distances us from hostilities and aversion."

Christians account of 13 per cent of UAE's population and they are allowed to practice their religion in churches or church compounds with special licenses.

Many locals feel that the Pope's will encourage the building of more churches.

"We are really stretched. We need more churches. We need more priests," one official was quoted as saying by RTE.