Abu Dhabi: The united endeavours of the Indian community in the UAE during challenging times are a remarkable achievement to be noted on Republic Day, said Talmiz Ahmad, Indian Ambassador to the UAE.

He spoke to Gulf News on the sidelines of India's 59th Republic Day celebrations at the embassy.

"The unity of the community is noteworthy as it is about 1.5 million strong, the largest expat community in the UAE," Ahmad said. "Whether during natural calamity back home or for helping amnesty seekers in the UAE, the community worked together for national interest."

The embassy in Abu Dhabi and Consulate in Dubai organised colourful functions to mark the occasion. Ahmad hoisted the national flag at 8.30am at the embassy in Abu Dhabi. In Dubai, Venu Rajamony, Consul General, hoisted the flag at Dubai Indian School.

The ambassador and consul general read out the message of the President of India, Pratibha Patil, at the functions after flag hoistings.


They addressed the community members who attended the functions in large numbers. Pupils of various schools staged various cultural programmes at Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Speaking to Gulf News, the ambassador and the consul general echoed the same feelings about the achievements of India and its citizens in the UAE.

"The high reputation of the Indian community in the UAE as a disciplined workforce is an asset to the nation.

"India's democratic and secular ideals have been the biggest achievement of the country during 60 years of independence," said Ahmad. "Economic growth of the country also gives confidence to the people."

Forging more than a billion people of several religions, languages and cultures ahead is a brilliant achievement and a challenge, said Venu Rajamony.

Indian musical legends Asha Bhonsle, Yeshudas and S.P. Balasubramaniam performed in Dubai on Friday. Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group, was the chief guest at the function attended by about 5,000 people.

"It was a great coincidence that the news of conferring the second highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, on Asha Bhosle came out while she was attending the function in Dubai," said Rajamony.