Dubai: Thousands of yoga enthusiasts will mark the 3rd International Yoga Day on June 20, officials said on Sunday.
The day is observed on June 21 but this year, the UAE will celebrate it a day before in view of the holy night of Lailat-ul-Qadr falling on June 21.
On Sunday, top diplomats at the Indian Consulate in Dubai announced that the mission will celebrate the day with events organised at different venues, in line with the motto of “Yoga at Your Doorstep”.
The United Nations had declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga in 2014 after India’s proposal received co-sponsorship from 176 countries. Dubai has been an important overseas venue where the Day was celebrated with the participation of tens of thousands of residents in 2015 and 2016.
At a press conference the Indian Consul General in Dubai, Vipul, said the main events in Dubai this time will be held in association with yoga schools from 8pm onwards at Burj Park, Zabeel Park and Burhani Complex, instead of one venue unlike in the past.
He said the Burj Khalifa Park was chosen as an iconic venue and Zabeel Park was chosen to give access to more people for the celebrations.
“We thought that it will not suffice if we organise it only at these places. So we have involved other community organisations, associations and schools so that people can go to the nearest venue in Dubai or Northern Emirates to participate in the events. These events will take place on 20th and 21st,” he said.
While 3,000 attendees are expected at the Burj Park, around 500 members from the Bohra community will take part in the event at the Burhani Complex in Al Nahda, said Rahul Srivastava, consul (commerce and visa) who is coordinating the events.
Various individuals and private institutions are also conducting activities to mark the day. “Even if one cannot come to any venue, I urge everyone to do yoga at home like how we observe the Earth Day,” said Vipul.
He added that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had written to all world leaders thanking them for their encouragement for the IYD and soliciting their support for this year’s event.
In the UAE, he has written to His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
“The prime minister’s letter has emphasised that yoga’s inherent philosophy and practice stands for achieving peace, internal and external harmony, and happiness and that yoga could contribute to the development of physical and mental health of stronger nations and communities.”
Video messages from Modi and Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri were screened at the venue. Suri said Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, and Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance will be among the dignitaries attending the event at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on June 20 evening.
Participants can register their details at the website www.iyd.ae which also features the protocol for the event. Participants are also encouraged to take part in social media contests by posting photos of three generations of family members practicing yoga.
International Yoga Day Event Venues in UAE
Burj Park, Dubai
Zabeel Park, Dubai
Burhani Complex, Al Nahda, Dubai
Sharjah Cricket Stadium
American University of Ras Al Khaimah
Indian Social Club, Fujairah
Pearl Beach Hotel, Umm Al Quwain
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre