Salim-Sulaiman perform at India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai during Diwali celebrations over the weekend Image Credit: @IndiaExpo2020/Twitter

Dubai: The India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai attracted more than 200,000 visitors from October 1 to November 3, making it one of the most visited pavilions.

Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai and Deputy Commissioner General for India at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “October was a huge success for the India Pavilion. We saw a strong visitor turnout and expect this momentum to continue in the coming months."

He added: “While the India Pavilion will showcase more business opportunities for collaboration and investment, the popularity of India’s festivals, food, and cultural performances have been crucial aspects in attracting visitors from across the globe.”

The pavilion was inaugurated by Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, on October 1.

Thematic weeks

The pavilion started with the ‘Climate & Biodiversity Week’ from October 3 to 9. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy conducted various sessions that highlighted India’s renewable energy goals and climate action plan to the world.

Inside the India pavilion
Visitors explore the India Pavilion. The pavilion hosted the ‘Climate & Biodiversity Week’ from October 3 to 9. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

These were followed by Space, and Urban and Rural Development weeks where discussions around the future of the sectors, the issues and challenges in the sectors, role of the government regulations and incentives were discussed.

Focus on states

Besides sector specific weeks, the pavilion also hosted specific weeks for Gujarat and Karnataka, and Union Territory of Ladakh. The state of Gujarat organised events at the India Pavilion where Bhupendra Patel, Chief Minister of Gujarat, virtually showcased the state’s pharma sector along with its plan for sustainable development.

Similarly, the Karnataka Week also witnessed the presence of Murugesh Nirani, Minister, Large and Medium Scale Industries, Government of Karnataka; along with other senior officials from the state.

Dh1.8 billion investment

The Karnataka week also saw announcement on partnership between the Government of Karnataka and Gulf Islamic Investments (GII) to strengthen the investment ties between India and UAE. GII’s investment approach in India is sector-agnostic and the firm plans to invest another $500 milion (around Dh1.83 billion) in India in the next three years.

Additionally, a series of events showcasing opportunities in Ladakh across focus sectors like sustainable infrastructure, connectivity, food processing and tourism were discussed during the Ladakh Week at India Pavilion.

The Climate & Biodiversity week saw virtual participation from dignitaries such as R.K. Singh, Minister of Power, New and Renewable Energy; Bhagwanth Khuba, Minister of State, New and Renewable Energy, Chemicals and Fertilisers; and Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

The Space sector sessions were addressed by Dr K. Sivan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Secretary Department of Space; and Dr Pawan Goenka, Chairman, Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) and Umamaheshwaran R, Scientific Secretary, ISRO.

The Urban and Rural Development week that started from October 31 was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India including Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary and Mission Director (Smart Cities Mission); Jaideep, OSD (Urban Transport); and Dinesh Kapila, Economic Advisor (Housing).

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Cultural shows

The month of October at India Pavilion also witnessed an array of cultural activities during Dusshera and Navratri celebrations. These included folk dances, storytelling and music for countless visitors and dignitaries.

The ongoing Diwali celebrations at India Pavilion comprise of colourful installations, lighting in the form of Swarangoli or LED rangoli, virtual display of firecrackers and performances by leading artists such as Salim-Sulaiman, Dhruv and Rooh bands from India and Dubai.