India’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai will go a long way in strengthening its “deep and historic relations with the UAE,” the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday.
“India is participating in this historic Expo with one of the largest pavilions. This Expo is a testimony to humanity’s resilience to a once-in-a-century pandemic,” Modi said in a virtual message during the opening ceremony at the Indian Pavilion.
“The theme of the pavilion is ‘openness, opportunities and growth’. These are the principles India is committed to as it highlights the country’s diversity and investment potential,” the Prime Minister added.
The four-storey India Pavilion was officially inaugurated by Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and UAE Ambassador to India Dr Ahmed Abdul Rahman AlBanna. Several Indian and UAE diplomats and members of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce were also in attendance.
‘Thank you for taking care of every Indian expat’
Goyal said India has a special partnership with the UAE. “It is constantly fed with the large Indian diaspora living in the UAE. I would like to thank the UAE for taking care of every Indian during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
He added: “Expo 2020 will prove to be a milestone in further strengthening the relationship between the two countries.”
On the sidelines of the event, Dr. Al Banna to the media: “The Indian pavilion is amazing. India’s participation at the fair has been of great importance to us from day one. Currently, UAE-India relations are at their best and we share great bilateral trade relations.”
The opening ceremony was followed by a grand cultural show at the Dubai Millennium Amphitheater.
A Glimpse of the Cultural Performances on the Occasion of the Inaugural Ceremony of #IndiaPavilion @expo2020dubai, a unique experience of art and expression with light, music & dance.#IndiaAtDubaiExpo #Expo2020Dubai#AzadiKaAmritMahotsav #Incredible India pic.twitter.com/H5lX6bNRTb
— India in Dubai (@cgidubai) October 1, 2021
Among those who attended the event were Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor; and Consul General of India to Dubai Dr Aman Puri.
Dr Thani greeted the crowd with ‘Namaste’ and said: “We look forward to a successful participation of the Indian business community and Indian expatriates [in this Expo].”
The event also saw the presence of prominent business and community leaders, including steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, executive chairman of ArcelorMittal; MA Yusuff Ali, Chairman and Director of Lulu Group International; Dr. Azad Moopen, Founder President and Chief Executive Officer of Aster DM Healthcare; and Kamal Vachani, group director and partner at the Al Maya group. Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and actor Vivek Oberoi were also in attendance.
“The 3.5 million Indians living in the UAE are proud of this and will visit the pavilion along with millions of people from participating countries. Aster is proud to be one of the sponsors of the India Pavilion,” said Moopen.
“Expo 2020 is an ideal venue to introduce thousands of people to the vibrant creativity and culture of Dubai. It will enhance visitors’ experience through a variety of activities and events that are interactive and help establish Dubai as a center for world-class culture, a hub for creativity, a vibrant city for talent and as the capital of the economy of the world. It could also attract an increase in investment and millions of visitors,” said Vachani.