Indian Expats in UAE Celebrate Independence Day, Important Announcement Made

As the largest expat community in the UAE, Indians have created a unique identify for themselves in their adopted country. Various festivals and observance of national importance are celebrated with just as much enthusiasm and festivity as they would have been back home. As Indians celebrated 15th August as the 73rd independence day in India, they did the same in UAE as well.

Special this year

This being the 150th year of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, a statue of the great son of India was unveiled at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi. Many gathered for the occasion of the statue's unveiling. Given Gandhi’s commitment to peace, tolerance and nonviolence, this is particularly fitting in view of 2019 being the UAE’s year of tolerance in the UAE.

Flag hoisting

As traditionally done on the day, there was a flat hoisting ceremony to mark the occasion at the Consulate General of India in Dubai. People arrived there especially for this; as a mark of respect for the occasion or on their way to work.

Live music

Before the unfurling of the flag, people enjoyed live music performances. Some sported the colours of the Indian flag, some carried their own little flags and countless numbers gathered to demonstrate their love for the home country.

Important for old and young

Apart from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, similar flag hoisting ceremonies were held in Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah as well. In addition, various Indian associations all over the country had their own celebrations to mark the event. The old and young turned up for the event, a moment of significance and a quiet pride of one’s country of origin. This is significant for Indians in the UAE, especially for those with small children growing up in the UAE because the parents would like the kids also to know something about the home country, its history and its unique struggle for independence.

Special screening

It was reported that the embassy would also have a screening of the new film Mission Mangal as part of Independence Day celebrations. This is a story about the scientists of ISRO who are behind India’s space programme, particularly India’s ambitious Mars Mission.

Announcement of a five-year visa

Speaking at the Independence Day celebrations at the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi, Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri had a special announcement to make. He said that India would now be issuing a five year, multiple entry visas into India for UAE citizens. This would apply to people travelling for business as well as leisure. A new biometric system will facilitate this.

Deepening UAE-India relations

This announcement will further strengthen ties between the UAE and India. The two countries already have a strong trading partnership and it is well known that the largest expat population in the UAE is that of Indian people who live and work at various locations in the UAE.

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