Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) holds significant importance not just in terms of bilateral relations but also in engaging with the large Indian diaspora residing in the Gulf nation. One of the key highlights of his visit is the ‘Ahlan Modi’ event scheduled to take place at the Zayed Sports City Stadium on Tuesday. Despite inclement weather, the enthusiasm among the Indian community in the UAE remains high, with over 2,500 individuals participating in full ground rehearsals and volunteer briefings.
Nishi Singh, head of communications for Ahlan Modi, expressed her appreciation for the Indian diaspora’s unwavering spirit, stating, “The inclement weather hasn’t dampened the spirit of Indians in the UAE; over two and a half thousand of them turned up for full-ground rehearsals of the cultural program and briefing as volunteers yesterday, despite heavy rains.” This demonstrates the strong bond and excitement among Indians in the UAE to welcome and engage with Prime Minister Modi.
The ‘Ahlan Modi’ event has garnered overwhelming enthusiasm from the Indian diaspora, leading organizers to close registrations last week with over 65,000 attendees. However, in compliance with UAE directives and safety measures, the number of participants on February 13 will be limited based on the seating capacity of the Zayed Sports City Stadium and traffic management considerations.
Singh emphasized the adherence to UAE regulations, stating, “Following the directives of UAE authorities, the numbers of attendees are limited on the 13th at Ahlan Modi by the seating capacity of Zayed Sports City Stadium and the realistic traffic and parking management as attendees are coming to Abu Dhabi from all over the seven Emirates.” This highlights the importance of maintaining safety protocols while ensuring the success of the event.
The Indian expatriate community in the UAE, estimated at approximately 3.5 million, constitutes the largest ethnic community in the country, comprising about 35% of the population. The ‘Ahlan Modi’ event serves as a platform to celebrate this vibrant community and showcase India’s rich cultural diversity.
The event will feature an exhibition showcasing over 700 artists and involving more than 150 Indian community groups. Emphasizing regional diversity, the event will integrate thousands of blue-collar workers from across the Emirates, highlighting their contributions to the UAE’s development and fostering communal harmony.
Notably, the participation of women in the event has been remarkable, reflecting the spirit of ‘Nari Shakti’ or women empowerment. The organizing committee noted the significant registration numbers among women and their active promotion of the event, underscoring their pivotal role in community engagement and participation.
Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UAE marks his seventh visit to the country since 2015 and the third in the last eight months, emphasizing the strategic importance of bilateral relations between India and the UAE. During his visit, PM Modi will hold bilateral meetings with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss ways to deepen and strengthen the strategic partnership between the two nations.
The discussions between Prime Minister Modi and President Sheikh Mohamed will encompass various areas of cooperation, including trade, investment, security, and cultural exchanges. Both leaders will exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest, reaffirming their commitment to enhancing bilateral ties and promoting peace and stability in the region.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s participation in the ‘Ahlan Modi’ event in the UAE underscores the deep-rooted cultural ties and shared aspirations between India and the UAE. The event serves as a testament to the strength of the Indian diaspora and their enduring connection to their homeland. As India and the UAE continue to strengthen their partnership, such engagements contribute to fostering goodwill and cooperation between the two nations for mutual benefit and prosperity.