UAE-India flights: Residents hail new direct route from Dubai to Bhubaneswar

Apart from cutting their travel time back home, the Odia community in the Emirates hopes that the sector will promote tourism in the Indian state


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Wed 17 May 2023, 7:39 PM

Last updated: Wed 17 May 2023, 11:08 PM

Non-resident Odias living in the UAE flew in specially on the inaugural Dubai-Bhubaneswar direct flight on Tuesday, May 15, 2023, and met Odisha's Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

They thanked him for his intervention in kickstarting these flights to the eastern state of India.

Residents reiterated that what made this flight (which is operated by IndiGo) special is that the it fulfills a promise the minister made back in June 2022, when he was in Dubai for an investors' meet.

Senior member of the Odia Community of UAE Priyadarshee Panigrahi, along with several others, met the state’s Chief Minister at ‘Naveen Nivas’ after landing from Dubai.

They thanked him for the launch of these direct flight operations, which was a long pending demand of the Odia diaspora.

Panigrahi says, “It was a wonderful feeling to fly from Dubai to Odisha directly in just about four hours, saving time, money and a lot of inconvenience. As a gesture of thanks, we presented the CM with a UAE’s traditional dagger, a ‘Khanjar’ and dates."

In addition to this a ‘thank you’ letter signed by a cross section of Odia residents in UAE was also handed over.

Among the many signatories to the thank you letter was another senior member Captain Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, senior doctors Dr Rajesh Pattanayak, Dr Sudeep Mohapatra, senior bankers Sandeep Das, Lalatendu Mohanty, entrepreneurs Tushar Sahu, Richa Samantaray, railway safety expert Bira Kishore Samal, finance professional Rajat Rath and renowned Odia artist Mona Biswarupa Mohanty.

The letter talked about the quick and honest fulfilment of the promise chief minister made to the Odia community of the UAE in June last year, during his trip to Dubai.

Expats opined that this flight is a boon for all Odias living in the UAE. The community hoped that apart from making the diaspora’s journey back home comfortable, the direct flight would promote tourism and investment in Odisha.

The minister opined he was happy that the flight had started and said, ‘Welcome home” to the UAE residents.

Indian consulate commemorates launch

Meanwhile, commemorating the launch of direct flight operations between Bhubaneswar and Dubai, a special cultural evening ‘Odisha Dibas’ was held on Tuesday in Dubai where the state's CM virtually addressed the gathering.

The event saw the participation of more than 1000 participants which included Odia Diaspora in UAE, Middle East and dignitaries.

Congratulating the State Government on this landmark step towards improving Odisha’s global connectivity, Consulate General of India in Dubai Dr Aman Puri spoke about how the commencement of direct connectivity between the global city, Dubai and Odisha will create unparalleled opportunities for the State and will connect the State to the world.

He expressed confidence that the Odia Diaspora and the Indian Diaspora in UAE and Middle East will take advantage of this direct connectivity to visit and explore 'India's Best Kept Secrets.'


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