Abu Dhabi: The UAE always celebrates Indian expatriates’ success and salutes their contributions, a top Indian diplomat told a large gathering at India Fest, an annual cultural and entertainment event at the Indian Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) in the capital.
“I cannot tell you how many occasions during my interactions with the leadership of this great country … they celebrate the success of the Indian community … they salute the contribution of this community,” said Navdeep Singh Suri, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE.
He was inaugurating the festival in the presence of several Indian and Emirati dignitaries on Thursday night.
The UAE leadership recognises that, Suri said, “even as the UAE provides generous hospitality to [around] three million Indians here … It is those three million people who built the edifices we see in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and elsewhere. So, that community has become such an integral part of the India-UAE story.” Therefore, he said, as the ambassador he has been privileged to get the support of the other three million people.
The 2017 as the ISC’s golden jubilee year is significant for many important reasons in India-UAE relations, the envoy said. “This is the year His Highness Shaikh Mohammad [Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces] visited India as the chief guest on India’s Republic Day. This is the year that we continued to build the momentum unleashed by the historic visit of Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi [to the UAE] in August 2015. And this is the year I can confidently predict even a better, more vibrant and dynamic 2018,” Suri said.
He said 2018 would witness very important developments in India-UAE relations.
Welcoming the audience, Joy Thomas John, honorary president of the ISC, said since 1967, the organisation could hold the diverse Indian community under one umbrella, upholding India’s unity in diversity. “The ISC also stands out as an epitome of Indo-Arab cultural construct.”
He said the eighth edition of the festival is also celebrating the 46th anniversary of the UAE. “We express our solidarity and loyalty to this great nation where over 200 nationalities are living in peace and harmony,” John said.
The event offers recreational and educational experience on India’s deep-rooted culture and heritage. Indians and their friends from various other communities, including women and children, enjoyed music and art performances by renowned artists from India and the UAE on Friday evening. Many more performances will entertain the visitors until Saturday night.
A Dh10 entry ticket will be valid for three days and make visitors eligible for the mega raffle draw for a Chevrolet Aveo car and 500 grams of gold to be held on March 29, 2018 at the end of ISC golden jubilee celebrations. A raffle draw on Saturday, December 16, based on the same entry tickets, will give away 20 prizes.
Various business houses are showcasing and selling their products and services — ranging from ethnic clothes and jewellery to diverse Indian cuisine.
- Event: India Fest — 2017
- Venue: Indian Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) premises at Al Mina in Abu Dhabi
- Dates and time:
- Friday, December 15, 5pm to 12 midnight
- Saturday, December 16, 5pm to 11pm
- Dh10 entry ticket is valid for three days and eligible for the mega raffle draw for Chevrolet Aveo car, 500 grams of gold and 20 other prizes.
- Over 100 artists from India and UAE will perform, in addition to international artists