Visitors read books on display a the DC books pavilion during the UAE India Fest on Friday. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The UAE-India Fest Season-7, a three-day cultural and entertainment event, ended on Saturday with an inspirational note on further collaboration between Emirati and Indian communities.

“The enthusiastic participation of Emiratis and Indian community from all walks of life in the festival and immense support from the UAE officials for its success have opened a new chapter in the relations between both communities,” Thomas Varghese, honorary president of the Indian Social and Cultural Centre (ISC), which organised the event, told Gulf News.

“This inspires us to say that this is just a beginning only in our efforts to further strengthen the people-to-people relations between the UAE and India. Abu Dhabi community can expect more events and activities in this direction in cooperation with the UAE Government in the coming months,” Varghese said.

The event commemorating the India visit of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, featured the diversity of Indian culture, music and food, Emirati cuisine, art and cultural performances such as Khaleeji dance and Ayalah dance.

For Indians, Emiratis and their friends of other nationalities, the festival was a rare opportunity to enjoy cultural programmes from various states and regions of India. “It gave a pan-India feeling and touch,” said John P. Varghese, honorary general secretary of the ISC.

Indian musician Naresh Iyer’s fusion music, sand art, Gujarati dance, South Indian dance forms of Kerala Nadanam and Mohiniyattam, a martial art from southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu performed by artists from Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Khaleeji dance were the major highlights on Saturday evening. A Ukrainian dance performed by an Abu Dhabi-based danseuse from Ukraine added a different flavour to the event.

Film actress Lakshmi Gopalaswami’s dance performance on Friday evening had attracted a huge crowd.

A raffle draw conducted at the end of the event gave away a Renault Duster car and 24 other prizes to the winners.

The ISC has been organising this annual event named ‘India Fest’ since 2011. However, this year’s event has been renamed as ‘UAE-India Fest Season-7’ to commemorate Shaikh Mohammad’s India visit.

It was held under the patronage of the Indian Embassy, Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, Abu Dhabi Police and the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport in Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, Anurag Bhushan, the Indian Consul-General in Dubai, was honoured in the evening. Bhushan will be leaving Dubai in near future after completing his official term. As Gulf News reported, Vipul, a senior Indian Foreign Service official, will succeed him.