Doctors attend a panel discussion under the theme “Yoga with AYUSH: Empowering Women’s Health” at the Indian Consulate in Dubai on Wednesday Image Credit: Sajila Saseendran, Senior Reporter

Dubai: Women will take centre stage at the celebrations of the 10th International Day of Yoga (IDY) in the UAE in line with this year’s theme “Yoga for Women Empowerment,” it was announced on Wednesday.

IDY is observed every year on June 21, which is a Friday this time. However, events in the UAE have been planned over the weekend considering the convenience of residents.

At a curtain raiser event in the run up to the day, Consul General of India in Dubai Satish Kumar Sivan said the Indian Consulate in Dubai will hold its official celebration of IDY on June 22.

Around 4,000 people are expected to attend the event to be held in association with Friends of India (FOI) from 5pm to 7pm at Sheikh Saeed Halls in Dubai World Trade Centre and there will be some surprises for the women attendees, the Consul General announced.


He also launched a website for registration which will close on June 18. Those registering will receive free yoga mat, T-shirt and refreshments. The consulate’s website will also carry a QR code scanning which will direct to the website for the event.

A couple of years ago, Sivan said, the consulate had become a trendsetter in celebrating a women’s-only Yoga Day in Dubai. “This year, the government of India has announced that International Yoga Day will focus on women’s empowerment, following in the consulate’s footsteps.”

Consul General of India Satish Kumar Sivan (right) lights the traditional lamp to mark the launch of the website for the International Day of Yoga event in Dubai. He is joined by Dr Einsha Huda, president of the Emirates Ayurveda Graduates Association, and Viswajith N of Friends of India. Image Credit: Sajila Saseendran, Senior Reporter

The Consul General said the theme is important because women’s health and well-being are central to family’s health and well-being.

Sivan said India has always been a leader in empowering women, and the government has implemented many political, economic, and social measures over the past decade. “These efforts will continue, and I’m glad the that Yoga Day will highlight women’s empowerment.”

Sivan said he has personally benefitted from yoga for both physical and mental health and urged everyone from the community to make it a way of life. “We hope members of the Indian community, friends of India from all nationalities, and the diplomatic corps will join us,” he added.

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Abu Dhabi events

Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi is organising two events to mark IDY and one will have an exclusive session for women, the mission told Gulf News.

UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan will be the chief guest at the main event to be held at the Atrium at ADNEC, a spokesperson of the mission said.

“The event will be held from 6pm on June 22. We had opened the online registration for this some days back,” he said. Yoga mats, IDY T-shirts, water bottles, and healthy refreshments shall be provided to all participants.

“We have another event June 23 at Louvre Abu Dhabi where we will have a special session for women. Our trainers this time are an all-women team as well,” he said. The free yoga session will be held at the museum’s Promenade and registration can be done through the museum’s website. The doors open from 7.30pm and the yoga session will be held from 8pm to 8.45pm.

Women’s health and yoga

On Wednesday, the consulate also held a panel discussion under the theme “Yoga with AYUSH: Empowering Women’s Health”. AYUSH refers to the Indian systems of medicine representing Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy. Women doctors practising some streams of the AYUSH system took part in the panel discussion.

Dr Einsha Huda, president of the Emirates Ayurveda Graduates Association who moderated the session, told Gulf News: “It was a very fruitful discussion where all the doctors spoke about integrating yoga into their practice and how they can encourage the speedy recovery of all the problems that women face, like gynaecology problems, PCOD, PCOS, postnatal care, menopause, perimenopause etc through yoga.”

The Consul General said the consulate has joined hands with community organisations and other partners to hold IDY celebrations in Sharjah, Ajman and

Ras Al Khaimah as well

“We are reaching out to specific partner entities, particularly women to join ... The them will be truly reflected at the venues,” Sivan said.

In reply to a question by Gulf News, the Consul General said the mission was also considering organising regular yoga sessions at the consulate. Following this year’s IDY event, he said, the mission aims to organise events outside office hours and over the weekend. “If that system is restored, we will be having yoga classes on a regular basis and I’m sure that will be open to the community,” he added.