Indonesians celebrate 74th Independence Day
Dubai - An estimated 100,000 Indonesians are currently living and working in the UAE.
Hundreds of Indonesian expats in Dubai celebrated their country's 74th Independence Day at the consulate grounds on Saturday.
Indonesia is the largest archipelagic country in the world and the most populous Muslim state. It proclaimed its independence on August 17, 1945, after being colonised by the Dutch for 350 years and later by Japan for three and half years.
"Today's celebration marks the 74th year of the proclamation of independence since 1945. On behalf of the government of Indonesia, I would like to congratulate all Indonesians for their spirit and optimism in the thick of dynamic and progressive development of our beloved country," Indonesian Consul-General Ridwan Hassan told Khaleej Times.
"To all Indonesians living in the UAE, happy Independence Day. Each and everyone of us plays a very important role for a progressive Indonesia. We all wish the best for Indonesia and we are confident that the bond of friendship between Indonesia and the UAE will grow stronger in harmony," Hassan added.
An estimated 100,000 Indonesians are currently living and working in the UAE, with 52,000 of them based in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
Hassan said Indonesia's growing relations with the UAE are a product of the mutual cooperation, highlighted by bilateral trade that is set to reach $5.5 billion.
Meanwhile, Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, and the iconic Adnoc Headquarters in Abu Dhabi were lit up in Indonesian national colours on Saturday evening to celebrate Indonesian national day.
Apart from the flag-hoisting ceremony, hundreds of Indonesian expats donated blood at the embassy and Abu Dhabi Blood Bank. Also, there were traditional games held for children at the embassy.
Ambassador of Indonesia to the UAE Husin Bagis underlined the growing bilateral cooperation in various sectors in a statement.
"Although today we are celebrating Indonesia, we are also celebrating the incredible accomplishments of the close bilateral ties with the UAE, and the cooperation potential for all that we will accomplish together in the years to come."