Almost 700 foreign journalists from 30 countries around the world have been accredited by the National Media Council (NMC) to report on the landmark visit of Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, to the UAE, from February 3-5.

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The visit has captured the attention of regional and international media due to its humanitarian dimensions and its role in promoting dialogue between religions and spreading the values of tolerance and coexistence in the region, and the world.

In a statement today, the NMC has confirmed that it has completed all preparations to secure media coverage, noting that the high number of registered media personnel reflects the massive international interest in the visit, especially since this is the first time the pontiff is visiting the Arabian Peninsula.

The NMC said that the UAE is used to organising major events, adding that it will provide various support to the media to enable them to carry out their job efficiently.

The Council is providing an integrated media centre with the latest technologies and means of communication to enable the representatives of the international media to cover the events of the visit with ease and convenience. Additionally, the NMC added that all participating media personnel has been provided with private transport to and from event sites.

Some of the prominent European news establishments which will be covering the visit include European Pressphoto Agency, Ruptly TV and Katholische Nachrichten-Agentur from Germany; la Repubblica, Agenzia Italia and ACI Stampa from Italy; Radio France, Le Figaro, AFP and France24 from France.

British media will also have a significant presence represented by BBC Arabic and BBC World Service, while US media agencies include the Financial Times, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and CNN.

Others include Newtr News agency and TRT Arabi from Turkey, La Nacion from Argentina, Televisa from Mexico, ABS-CBN from the Philippines, Union of Catholic Asian News, which is based in Hong Kong, and Nikkei from Japan.

News outlets from the Middle East such as Al Arabiya and Arab News from Saudi Arabia, Alghad TV of Egypt, Jordan News Agency, and Jordan Press Foundation from Jordan, Voice of Lebanon 100.5 and LBCI from Lebanon, and the Moroccan News Agency from Morocco will also be present.

The Pope’s visit will include a tour at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, a mass at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi and a meeting with the Muslim Council of Elders, headed by the Grand Imam of Al Azhar.

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