With only hours remaining before Mawlana Hazar Imam’s expected arrival in the United Arab Emirates, there is an air of excitement and anticipation as the Jamat prepares for an historic visit.

Golden Jubilee National Task Forces are busy planning and coordinating the visit. As the pressure builds and hundreds of volunteers work feverishly into the early hours of the morning, a Task Force leader notes, “It is a privilege to be working for this Golden Jubilee visit... a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

This historic event is expected to draw thousands of international visitors from Jamats around the world. A volunteer with the Ismaili Council reflects on the magnitude of the occasion: “This is an opportunity where everyone – man, woman, child, young and old – can take part in his or her capacity ... we have the opportunity to host the worldwide Jamat here.” In addition to the Golden Jubilee Darbar, preparations are being made for the planned opening of the Ismaili Centre Dubai – the first such centre in the Middle East.In the Garhoud Activity Centre, children are rehearsing for a Youth Celebration performance. “Everything is happening so fast,” says one young member excitedly. She is preparing a dance set to a song in which each verse is composed in a different language. “We've been practising every night until 11:00 PM!”