Dubai | The Indian community in the UAE is planning a Madison Square-like reception for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the first Indian premier to visit the oil-rich Arab nation in 34 years. Members of the Indian diaspora are eagerly looking forward to the two-day visit set to take place from August 16. Over 50,000 Indian expatriates are expected to attend a public reception for Modi at the Dubai Cricket Association (DCA) Stadium on August 17.
An official organising committee called ‘Namo in Dubai’ has been set up to make arrangements and a website has been launched to invite online registration for attending the reception. K Kumar, convenor of the Indian Community Welfare Committee (ICWC) in Dubai who is overseeing the arrangements, said, We formed namoindubai for the express purpose of overseeing all arrangements for this event.
This news has brought together thousands of Indians from different walks of life members of a variety of Indian associations for the Sikhs, the Bohri Muslims, the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre, the Jains have volunteered to participate in the organisational work. Indians have responded in huge numbers already, BR Shetty, chairman of NMC Health Care, told Gulf News.
Although the DCA event is being organised on the lines of Modi’s celebrated Madison Garden event, no entry fee will be charged from the audience. Ram Buxani, President of the ITL group and one of the members of the organising committee, said this was one of the most important state-level events in over three decades.
After 34 years, an Indian prime minister is making this effort and it is widely appreciated by the Indian diaspora. The over two million Indians in the UAE were feeling neglected and this visit will not only refresh the bilateral trade and cultural relations between the two countries, it will also reinforce the strong sense of belonging in the expatriates by pumping in greater self-esteem and confidence.
Incidentally, Buxani was also a member of the organising committee over three decades ago during former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s visit in 1981 and feels blessed to be doing this again and recalls receiving the late prime minister at Dubai airport. Jameel, Managing Director of Prime Health Care Group, felt this visit was an acknowledgement of the Indian community’s achievements and contributions.
Indian expatriate community is the largest ethnic community in UAE constituting roughly about 30 per cent of the Gulf country’s population.
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