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Piyush Goyal, the visiting Indian minister for Commerce and Industry and Railways, unveiled the theme and design of the India Pavilion being constructed at the Dubai Expo 2020 site. PHOTO Antonin Kelian Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: Several leading expatriate businessmen from the Indian diaspora in the UAE pledged millions towards the construction of the India Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020, at a ceremony on Saturday.

Piyush Goyal, the visiting Indian minister for Commerce and Industry and Railways, unveiled the theme and design of the India Pavilion being constructed at the Dubai Expo 2020 site.

Prominent among them were M.A. Yusuf Ali, Dr Azad Moopen, Irfan Allana, Vinay Shetty and representatives of other leading groups who presented letters of commitment to Goyal, pledging huge amounts towards construction of the sprawling 4,800-square-feet pavilion.

Vipul, the consul general of India to the UAE, told Gulf News: “The total cost of the pavilion is estimated at Dh250 million and a substantial percentage of that will be met by the generous contributions being made by Indian businessmen of the UAE.”

Indian Minister for Commerce and Railways Piyush Goyal unveils pavilion theme, design. Production: Shreya Bhatia/ Gulf News

Congratulating the UAE government for this unique opportunity to showcase Indian culture, heritage and business, Goyal thanked the Indian diaspora comprising 3.3 million people in UAE for their contribution towards the growth story of India.

“India is evolving every day and engaging with the rest of the world and is destined to be a superpower soon. This is the best time in the global eco system for India to engage with the rest of the world.”

'The future is India'

In her presentation, Sangeeta Reddy, president-elect of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce (FICCI) that has entered into a partnership with the Indian government on this project, said: “The theme of the pavilion is ‘The Future is India’. We strongly believe in this and we are taking care to uphold aesthetics, technology and culture in the construction of the project."

"A tall statute of the father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi will be the key sculpture at the entrance of the pavilion. The 5,000-year history of our ancient Indian culture will be narrated through 170 dynamic programmes taking place on all 170 days of the Expo.

"Diwali 2020 and Indian Republic Day celebrations for 2021 will be the main events that will showcase India’s achievements and future goals. Every aspect of India from culture to art, entertainment, gems and jewellery, cuisines, businesses, start-ups, space programme and so on will find a representation at the pavilion.”

B.S. Swain, additonal secretary general from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, added: “Work on construction has already started in the Opportunity Sector of the Dubai Expo District. The project which will be ground plus three storeys will house two buildings – the Plaza and the pavilion.”

He added that while the plaza would house the retail space and will be be dismantled after the Expo, the pavilion would continue permanently as a unique centre for trade, craft, culture, art and heritage.

“The project will be complete by August 2020, well in time for the event,” said Swain.

India pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020

Location: Opportunity District, Expo 2020 site

Total Area: 4,800 square feet, ground plus three storeys

Theme: The Future Is India

Larger-than-life statue of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi to be exhibited at the entrance along with a replica of a sun-dial

Two buildings: Plaza to house retail exhibits and Pavilion to house art, culture, entertainment, renewable energy, health, education, food court, space programme among other features to be a permanent India centre after Expo 2020

Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce (FICCI) partnering with Indian government for the project

National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to oversee the construction

Civil and structrural work to be completed by March 2020 and final project by August 2020.

Pavilion to be inaugurated by October 2020

2 mega events planned

November 19, 2020 - Diwali

January 26, 2021 - Indian Republic Daytwo mega events planned