Abu Dhabi: Indian expatriates in the UAE celebrated Independence Day on Saturday, saluting the tricolour at various functions organised across the country.
A large number of community members attended the celebrations at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Indian High School in Dubai.
India's Ambassador to the UAE Talmiz Ahmad hoisted the national flag at the Indian Embassy premises early on Saturday.
Members of the community, including women and children, carrying Indian national flags reached the embassy early in the morning to attend the function.
Mani Shankar Aiyar, former Union minister, addressed the gathering as the chief guest. He talked about the challenges of empowering the poor in India. He stressed the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi's goal to empower the masses through 'panchayats' [village administrations].
Ahmad then read out the Indian President's message to the nation.
About 2,000 people attended the ceremony at Indian High School in Dubai organised by the Consulate General of India, Dubai.
Consul General Venu Rajamony hoisted the national flag and addressed the gathering. He said that the UAE has always welcomed Indians with open arms and Indians living in the UAE must bear in mind the welfare of the country they reside in.
He also read out extracts from the Indian President's speech to the nation. This was followed by a cultural programme of patriotic songs and dances by school children.
About 300 members attended the Independence Day function at the India Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Y. Sudhir Kumar Shetty, the president of the ISC hoisted the national flag.
A cultural programme organised by all five registered Indian organisations in Abu Dhabi - ISC, Indian Islamic Centre, Indian Ladies Association, Kerala Social Centre and Abu Dhabi Malayalee Samajam - was held at the ISC auditorium.
Aiyar was the chief guest and Ahmad was the guest of honour on the occasion.
Abu Dhabi Speaking on the sidelines of the Independence Day celebrations at the Indian Embassy here Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad said that the UAE acts as a bridge between India and its neighbours.
Booming non-oil trade between the countries means a huge quantity of Indian products are re-exported to Pakistan and Afghanistan, which normally do not have easy access to Indian products.
Indian goods also reach East Africa through Dubai which has opened a market of large geographical area for India, he said.
"During the first nine months of 2008-09, India's non-oil trade with the UAE has reached at $30 billion (about Dh110 billion)," he said.
Have your say
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It is a very special day for us. After struggling 90 years we got his independence. It is the time to Salute our freedom fighters and Salute to Nation. I wish you all the childs of my country. I hope coming years my country will be very peaceful and be the role model for other countries. Salute to Nation! Salute to Freedom Fighter! Jai Hind! Vante Mataram!
Posted: August 16, 2009, 13:30
Its feels really good when u see our country flag all over... This is 1st time wen i m seeing Pak-India independence day celebrations that too in a different country...no differences but just because of a single line of control we are divided...live one day for your country you feel really proud to say that v r there....
Posted: August 16, 2009, 12:48
india celebrated its 62nd independence day with joy and happiness. Every citizen of india love to see his country always in peace and prosperity.
Posted: August 16, 2009, 10:45
Wish all Indians and the whole world a very Happy Independence day. We are proud to be Indians. Though we get lots of difficulties we never lose our hope. Good Luck India.... keep it up...........JAI HIND ........
Posted: August 16, 2009, 10:19
Normally we attend ground parade ceremony which last for 3-2 hours and we wish every body Happy Independence Day. All schools and Government holidays also closed. Ofcouse its a special day for us as India got Independence.
Mohammad Jawad Ali Khan
Posted: August 16, 2009, 07:16