UAE-India Relationship to be Strengthened Through Fest
As the UAE and India are turning a new chapter in their bilateral and diplomatic relationship, the oldest and biggest community organisation of Indians in Abu Dhabi is celebrating the ‘soft’ side of the historic bond between the two nations.
India Fest, a signature annual event by the India Social and Cultural Centre (ISC), which will be held from 26-28 January 2017, has been renamed UAE-India Fest, in its seventh season, to commemorate the state visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, as the chief guest on the Indian Republic Day on 26 January in New Delhi.
The AED 1 million cultural jamboree that is expected to draw more than 40,000 people, will see an impressive line-up of events and entertainment extravaganza that will celebrate the Indian and Emirati cultural traditions and cuisines.
“We are leaving no stone unturned to make this a landmark event that will go down in history,” said Thomas Varghese, president of the ISC.
“We are using this opportunity to express our love and respect to the UAE rulers who have always taken care of the Indian community here,” said Varghese.
The UAE-India Fest is expected to be the best and biggest this year, especially as the ISC is celebrating its golden jubilee.
Adding to the glory is the organisation winning the prestigious Pravasi Bharathiya Samman (PBS) at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention held in Bangalore early this month by the government of India. Established in 1967, the ISC currently has over 2,220 members but caters to nearly 7,000 people.
This year, more than 100 artists both from India and the UAE are expected to perform during the three-day festival – the highlights being musical concert by Bollywood playback singer Naresh Iyer and Sharanya Srinivas, dance performance by Malayalam movie star and danseuse Lakshmi Gopalaswami, the Immortal Raaga band performance with Sabreesh Prabhakar and a martial arts performance.
To bring in the Emirati flavour, traditional dance forms like Khaleeji, Ayalah and Tanoora will be showcased, in addition to special food stalls with Emirati delicacies.
Visitors can also win plenty of prizes through raffle draws. The mega raffle draw sponsored by Al Masaood Automobiles will offer a Renault Duster on the final day of the festival. There are also daily raffle prizes for the lucky visitors.
The event is supported by the Indian embassy and the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, the AbuDhabi Police and the Abu Dhabi City Municipality are strategic partners.
Tickets are priced at Dh10 for all the three days. The ISC president said parts of the proceeds from the event will be donated for charitable donations.