05 Feb 2019 AT 02:06 PM

Pope Francis just arrived in Abu Dhabi in a G-Wagen

He waved to crowds from the back of the specially modified 4x4
05 Feb 2019 AT 02:06 PM
Pope Francis just arrived in Abu Dhabi in a G-Wagen

The Pope is in Abu Dhabi for his first ever visit to the Middle East, and he's marked the historic occasion in the most UAE way possible.

He arrived at Zayed Sports City in a specially modified white Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, a vehicle that's long been associated with the UAE.

The car has the numberplate SCV 1, which stands for Status Civitatis Vaticanae – the Latin name for Vatican City.

Previous pontiffs frequently travelled in the Popemobile, a special vehicle with a section encased fully in bulletproof glass.

But Pope Francis tends to prefer an open-top car, and has even been spotted driving around in a Ford Focus.

The G-Wagen is a familiar sight in the UAE, with HH Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum , Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, being the most famous driver of the 4x4.

Apart from his public mass today in Abu Dhabi for 140,000 people, Pope Francis has had a busy visit.

The pontiff first visited the Presidential Palace to meet HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

He then met with leaders of other faiths in the capital before heading to the Founder's Memorial.

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