UAE: Ahead of ‘Ahlan Modi’, Abu Dhabi stadium gears up to welcome Indian PM

In the UAE, PM Modi will meet with the UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Ahead of the “Ahlan Modi” event, the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE is all decked up for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the Indian diaspora on Tuesday.

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The Indian expatriate community of approximately 3.5 million is the largest ethnic community in the UAE, constituting roughly 35 per cent of the country’s population.

The event has witnessed an unprecedented response, with over 65,000 registrations received.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a two-day official visit to the UAE and Qatar from New Delhi on Tuesday morning.

Ahead of his departure, the prime minister took to social media plaform X to post that he is looking forward to meeting with his “brother” the President of UAE with whom he shares a good rapport.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal took to X, emphasising that PM Modi’s first leg of the visit in the UAE will entail engagements with UAE leadership and community members, and the inauguration of BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi.

“Wheels up! PM @narendramodiembarks on a two-country visit to the UAE & Qatar. The first leg of the visit in the UAE entails engagements with UAE leadership & community members, inauguration of @AbuDhabiMandir, and participation as the Guest of Honour at @WorldGovSummit in Dubai,” he stated.

In the UAE, PM Modi will meet with the UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, whom he had met in Gujarat during the ‘Vibrant Gujarat 2024’ in January 9. He will also meet with the Vice President, Prime Minister, and Defence Minister of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Prime Minister Modi posted on X, “Eager to meet my brother, @MohamedBinZayed. Over the next two days, I will be visiting UAE and Qatar to attend various programmes, which will deepen India’s bilateral relations with these nations.”

In their bilateral meeting PM Modi and UAE President are expected to take up strengthening of ties in a number of economic areas including energy security, energy trade, ports, railways and maritime logistics, digital infrastructure, capital flows and fintech connectivity, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

The Prime Minister in his post on X further said that the visit to UAE will be his seventh since assuming office in 2015, “indicating the priority we attach to strong India-UAE friendship.”

This visit also marks the third by the PM to the Gulf country in the past eight months, as per a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs Minister.

Apart from meeting with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, PM Modi will also attend the World Government Summit 2024, where he will deliver a special keynote address.

“My discussions with Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid on the margins of Summit will focus on strengthening our multifaceted ties with Dubai,” the Prime Minister said in a statement ahead of his departure.

The key highlights of the event include an exhibition by over 700 cultural artists, bringing to life the vast diversity of Indian arts, and ensuring an inclusive cultural soiree.

Active participation from more than 150 Indian community groups in the event will showcase India’s regional diversity and the integration of thousands of blue-collar workers from across the emirates, weaving a rich tapestry of diversity and unity into the fabric of the event.

In a remarkable display of solidarity and anticipation, the ‘Nari Shakti’ of the Indian community has shown overwhelming support and enthusiasm. They have registered in significant numbers and are actively promoting the event, embodying the spirit of women’s empowerment, communal harmony and participation, according to the organising committee.

NRIs gear up for Ahlan Modi event

Jitendra Vaidya, President of the Indian People Forum and leader of the ‘Ahlan Modi’ initiative said, “The registration for the event crossed 65,000 and it was closed on February 2.”

“It is a very unique type of event because there is no single organisation conducting this event; it is an entire community arranging it. As you may know, when PM Modi’s name comes, people gather in large numbers. This is the love for PM Modi,” Vaidya told ANI.

The event, organised by the Indian community in Abu Dhabi, has garnered significant attention, showcasing the widespread admiration and support for Prime Minister Modi.

Vaidya highlighted the community-driven nature of ‘Ahlan Modi,’ emphasising that it is not orchestrated by a single organisation but is a collective effort.

Modi to inaugurate BAPS Hindu temple in UAE

Following the ‘Ahlan Modi; event, PM Modi will also inaugurate the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Mandir, on Wednesday.

The BAPS Hindu Temple is all set with its magnificent visuals and spellbinding architecture.

Yesterday, Sadhu Brahmaviharidas, who leads international relations for the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, expressed gratitude to UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his unprecedented generosity and open-mindedness in facilitating the construction of this historic temple.

He also expressed deep appreciation for the rulers and leaders of the UAE and the friendship between India’s Prime Minister and the UAE rulers.

Sadhu Brahmaviharidas also unveiled the rich symbolism embedded in temple’s design. Adorned with seven spires, the Mandir symbolises gratitude towards the unity of the seven emirates, reflecting the harmonious relationship between India and the UAE. The seven spires also pay homage to seven important deities, underscoring the interconnectedness of cultures and religions.

The incorporation of advanced technology, including 300 sensors, elevates the temple to the status of a scientific marvel.

Even before its official inauguration, the Mandir has already become a symbol of global unity. Over 60,000 people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and nations have actively contributed to its construction.

Recently, ambassadors from 40 nations gathered to celebrate the temple, emphasising its role as a unifying force on the global stage, the leader of international relations for the BAPS, Swaminarayan Sanstha, said.

(with inputs from ANI)

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