Indian residents in Dubai celebrate the 67th Independence Day at the Consulate Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi/Dubai: Scores of Indian expatriates from all walks of life attended the Indian Independence Day celebrations at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi on Thursday morning. 

M.K.Lokesh, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, hoisted the national flag.  Pupils of various Indian schools in the capital performed colourful cultural programmes at the embassy auditorium after the flag hoisting ceremony. 

In Dubai, Sanjay Verma, India’s Consul General, also raised the Indian flag at the Indian consulate. The ceremony was followed by cultural performances.

The Indian flag was also hoisted by the Indian Community in Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm Al Qwain and Kalba.

About 500 members of the Indian community –students, teachers, businessmen, professionals, workers and others –attended the event in Dubai. Verma read excerpts from the Indian president’s Address to the Nation on the eve of the Independence Day. The full Address is available on www.cgidubai.com.

In his remarks, the Consul General felicitated the Indian community on the Independence Day and hailed the bilateral relations between India and the UAE. He congratulated the Indian community for their contribution to two nations, India and the UAE. The Consul General spoke about India’s diversity and “inclusive national model and stressed that India was stronger than ever before in its history and prepared to deal with any challenge that comes its way.”

Indian expatriates said they are “fortunate” to celebrate the Independence Day in a foreign land. They also expressed hope that India’s economic might will grow even stronger.

Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group, said: “On the auspicious occasion of Independence Day, I would like to send across my best wishes to all my fellow Indians. It is indeed an honour to be celebrating the momentous occasion home away from home.”

He added: “Overseas celebrations of our independence demonstrate the unwavering spirit of India that binds our nation. As an expat living in UAE for years, I am proud of the impact India has made on the international arena. It is an emerging power and one of the richest countries in the world today with multitude of knowledge, cultures, places and habitants.”

Raju Thota, 25, a labourer, said, although he has been living in the UAE for past five years, he never missed the chance to celebrate the occasion.  "It is a special day for me and I attend the celebrations at the embassy every year," Thota said.

India is marking its 67th Independence Day on August 15 after gaining sovereignty in 1947 from almost a century of British control. The occasion is a national holiday in India.