India to be the ‘Guest of Honour country’ at Abu Dhabi Festival

Building healthy relations

Diaspora

December 4, 2017

/ By / Kolkata



Navdeep Suri, the Indian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the middle of other diplomats

Navdeep Suri, the Indian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the middle of other diplomats

India will be the ‘Guest of Honour Country’ in the Abu Dhabi Festival (ADF) 2018 and is set to showcase its diverse cultural hues to the world as well as the large Indian diaspora settled in UAE.

Slated to take place at the Emirates Palace Auditorium in Abu Dhabi, ADF 2018 will have India as the ‘Guest of Honour Country’ for the 15th edition of this international festival. While most believe it to be the outcome of a fresh start initiated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit this strategic Gulf country in last 34 years, the bilateral relations between India and the UAE seems to head towards an amicable one.

Navdeep Suri, the Indian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said, “it is a matter of pride that India has been chosen as the ‘Guest of Honour’ for the 2018 edition of Abu Dhabi Festival.”

He further added, “By collaborating with ADF 2018 we hope to supplement these efforts to take Indian culture mainstream and make sure that there is a much better understanding of an India beyond Bollywood. That is why the focus is on showcasing some of India’s magnificent diversity. ADF 2018 will provide an opportunity to non-Indians to enjoy Indian culture and Indians to enjoy cultures of many participating countries.”

Abu Dhabi festival 2018 is the largest celebration of arts and culture in the Arabian Gulf. The one-month-long  cultural festival will see participation from more than 500 international artists and 40 composers from 30 countries.

Each year, Abu Dhabi Festival recognises a Country of Honour, commemorating its culture through performances and strengthening diplomatic ties as it welcomes esteemed guests and celebrates artistic expression. ADF 2018 is being celebrated as the ‘Year of Zayed’, to mark the birth centenary of Sheikh Zayed, the founding father of the UAE and the country’s first President.

Eminent Indian artists, including musician Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, choreographer Gilles Chuyen and singer Raghu Dixit will be a part of this festival.

Also, earlier this year, to promote a healthy bilateral relationship, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of United Arab Emirates were invited as Chief Guests to India this year for the Republic Day celebrations from 24-26 January 2017.

With about 2.6 million of the vibrant Indian community, which also forms the largest expatriate group in UAE, India and UAE enjoy warm and multi-faceted relations underpinned by cultural, religious and economic linkages. Their positive and well-appreciated contribution to the development of UAE has been an important anchor of the flourishing bilateral engagement.

Economic Ties

According to the ministry of commerce and industry, Government of India, UAE ranks first among the destinations for India’s exports in the West Asia & North Africa (WANA) region and among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The two countries have been amongst each other’s top trading partners. UAE is the tenth biggest investor in India in terms of foreign direct investments. UAE is the tenth biggest investor in India in terms of FDI. UAE’s investments in India are concentrated mainly in five sectors: Construction Development (12pc), Power (11pc), Air Transport (9pc), Hotel & Tourism (9pc), and Metallurgical Industries (8pc).

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