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UAE and India continue to build on “cultural diplomacy” through social and charitable events and exchanges, the UAE Ambassador to India said recently. Dr Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al Banna said “cultural diplomacy is a pillar of soft diplomacy” that the UAE utilises to enhance and promote closer ties with India and other friendly nations. His comments came last Monday during his address at ‘A Gala Night of Hope’ at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi. The event was organised with support from the UAE Embassy in India to promote a new agreement between the Rashid Centre for Disabled in Dubai and the Sun Foundation in New Delhi. Image Credit:

New Delhi, Dubai: The UAE and India continue to build on “cultural diplomacy” through social and charitable events and exchanges, the UAE’s Ambassador to India said recently.

Dr Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al Banna said “cultural diplomacy is a pillar of soft diplomacy” that the UAE utilises to enhance and promote closer ties with India and other friendly nations.

His comments came during his address at ‘A Gala Night of Hope’ at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi earlier this month. The event was organised with support from the UAE Embassy in India to promote a new agreement between the Rashid Centre for Disabled in Dubai and the Sun Foundation in New Delhi. Addressing a gathering of royalty, diplomats, celebrities, corporate leaders, other dignitaries and students, Dr Al Banna said such events are an example of cultural diplomacy bringing people of the two countries closer together.

The ambassador added that he was especially pleased as the occasion followed an announcement by the UAE leadership regarding the creation of a council for soft diplomacy in the UAE.

Dr Al Banna said friendly relations between the peoples of what is now the UAE and India are more than a millennia old, and include cultural and commercial exchanges.

He added that last week’s event in New Delhi also comes in line with the Year of Giving (2017) initiative of the UAE leadership to encourage people to give back to the community through volunteer work, charitable donations and other forms of support.

Dr Al Banna received compliments and appreciation by top officials from Rashid Centre and others for his support for the event, and for enabling the dimension of the Year of Giving initiative to reach beyond the borders of the UAE.

The gala dinner in New Delhi supported the agreement between Rashid Centre and Sun Foundation to impart vocational and other skills to children with special needs in the UAE and India.

Khadija Al Banna, wife of Dr Al Banna, was praised at the event for her initiative, support and role in making the agreement possible, as well as in ensuring the success of the gala charity event in New Delhi. She was also acknowledged for her unwavering support to children with special needs.

Dr Al Banna described the gala event as “inspiring and enjoyable”, expressing his happiness for being part of such a charity event that provided an opportunity to celebrate the works of children with special needs. At the event, students of Rashid Centre showcased their works of art, a number of which were auctioned in support of the centre.

The ambassador underscored that charitable, social and cultural exchanges between people of the UAE and India would continue earnestly, building on past collaborations while fostering new ones.

Later on during the event, he felicitated guests and media professionals on stage during an honouring ceremony.