A. SREENIVASA REDDY (ABU DHABI)
Over 60,000 people have registered for the community reception of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which is scheduled to be held on the evening of February 13 at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, organisers said. Event organisers are coordinating with Abu Dhabi authorities for seamless execution and hassle-free organisation of the event of this scale.
Thanking the UAE leadership for making the event possible, the organisers said that the overwhelming response shows profound support for the Indian Prime Minister among the UAE’s Indian expatriate community. Large public interactions with expatriates living in various countries has been a hallmark of Narendra Modi’s outreach to Indian diaspora ever since he took office in 2014.
Sources said that the Abu Dhabi event, titled “Ahlan Modi” (Hello Modi) is expected to be biggest of its kind in terms of the size of the crowd in attendance. Noting the active participation of Indian women, students, and schools, the organisers said that over 150 Indian community organisations are working to make the event a success.
Over 700 artists will showcase the vast and diverse culture of India through various cultural programmes. Organisers also noted that blue collar workers are actively preparing to attend the public event, and that transportation arrangements are being made from different emirates.
Dr. Nishi Singh, Director of the Communications Team for “Ahlan Modi”, told Aletihad she was present at the rehearsals for cultural programmes put on by 400 people, including many students, parents, and teachers, in the auditorium of the Indian School in Dubai.
Likewise, many other artists are rehearsing their programmes in Abu Dhabi and other emirates, she added. As rapid preparations are on to organise the event, Singh said that stadium doors will open at 10am sharp so that all participants can be seated comfortably by the time the programme starts.
The event’s cultural programmes will tentatively start at 4pm and will last over an hour and half. It will be followed by the Prime Minister’s arrival and his address, she added. A total of 2,000 volunteers will take part in the organisation of the event, said another source associated with the event, adding that volunteers will meet next Sunday to take stock of the logistics.
Speaking on the event, PNC Menon, founder and chairman of Sobha Realty, said: “Ahlan Modi is not just an event, it is a celebration of unity in diversity, resonating across borders. It is an honour to welcome the honourable Prime Minister of India, at such an event that highlights the rich cultural heritage of India and wish for the success of this memorable occasion, etching itself into the history of India-UAE friendship.”
A day after his address to the community, Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate BAPS Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.