I extend my warm greetings to all Indians and friends of India in the UAE on the occasion of the 73rd Republic Day of India. Republic Day is the day when the people of India gave themselves a constitution that reflected their hopes and aspirations. Today, India is the largest democracy in the world and the Indian Constitution is the embodiment of the political, social and economic rights of the people.
India and the UAE enjoy strong bonds of friendship based on age-old cultural, religious and economic ties between the two nations. The diverse spectrum of the India-UAE relationship is the result of the values and the common vision both the countries share, ably backed by the large Indian diaspora in the UAE. Both the countries have reached significant milestones with India marking 75 years of Independence and the UAE celebrating 50th National Day and remain committed to foster collaborations under the framework of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to accelerate post-Covid economic recovery and economic growth.
India has led the world’s largest vaccination drive with over 1.5 billion doses administered over one year to support the world in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. I also congratulate the UAE leadership for undertaking an exemplary vaccination drive to emerge as the most vaccinated country in the world.
In the last 50 years, the UAE has seen remarkable growth showing the resilience and the vibrancy of the UAE. This resilience is truly evident at the Expo 2020 Dubai, which is one of the largest events being held in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic at the global level. With the participation of 192 countries, Expo 2020 Dubai has been an excellent opportunity for the world to come together and contribute towards a sustainable and healthy world.
India Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai, among the largest, one of the most visited Pavilions and a permanent legacy structure that shall be part of District 2020, is testament to the special bond between the two countries. Over the period of three and half months, high level delegations from ten Indian States/Union Territories and eight Central Ministries have participated and showcased their unique opportunities and potential for investments and collaborations. Recently, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir had a prolific participation that saw substantial investment commitments to strengthen the infrastructure and also provide huge employment opportunities to local youth in Jammu and Kashmir. India Pavilion has hosted more than 800 B2B, G2B and G2G meetings discussing investment opportunities and mutual areas of cooperation, while over 100 MoUs were signed aiming at developing different economic sectors and industries, as well as promoting technical cooperation and exchange of expertise in several areas. India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has been a favourable platform for our States, Sectors, Corporates and Startups to engage with their global counterparts and primarily in exploring collaborations with their UAE counterparts.
Recently, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announced that 16 January would be celebrated as ‘National Startup Day’ to acknowledge the 60,000+ strong Indian startup ecosystem, as India takes an edge in fostering innovations for the world to emerge as the third largest incubation hub for Unicorns. Riding on this new spirit in Indian youth and contributing towards building a self-reliant Atmanirbhar Bharat, India Pavilion has initiated ‘India Innovation Hub' that has till date featured over 200 Indian startups and will be showcasing up to 500 startups at Expo 2020 Dubai. Converting the ongoing crisis period into opportunity, India witnessed emergence of 42 new Unicorns in the year 2021, few of whom have been part of events hosted at the India Pavilion. On the sidelines, there have been seven Elevate pitching sessions that had these startups showcasing their innovations to potential investors, Venture Capitalists and financial institutions, many of whom have successfully secured funding. With UAE's vision for technology-led innovations supported by its robust infrastructure, India and the UAE stands as natural partners to co-create future Unicorns and bring forward innovative products and ideas for the world.
All major Indian festivals were celebrated with galore and witnessed enthusiastic participation from Indian Community organizations and the Indian schools, representing true “Jan Bhagidari” as we rejoice together in ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations. Celebrated Indian musicians, artistes, sportspersons and film personalities have been part of these splendid celebrations by India Pavilion.
Indian workforce has been instrumental part of economic development in the UAE, and we are constantly striving towards ensuring their welfare and development. Upskilling programmes, health awareness and financial literacy sessions for the Indian workers are regularly organised across Dubai and the Northern Emirates. We are also committed to lay a pathway for facilitating employment of skilled manpower from India in this region.
The Consulate General of India, Dubai remains committed in pursuit of well-being of all Indian nationals in the UAE. Consular services are available 365 days; the Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra, located at the Consulate premises, is accessible 24X7 throughout the year for registering one’s concerns, grievances and queries and also avail financial, legal and psychological counselling. We welcome suggestions and feedback from the community members on ways to further improve our services.
India and the UAE value the spirit of tolerance and peaceful co-existence, wherein several communities live in harmony. I am confident that the partnership and trust between India and the UAE shall only go from strength to strength. I take this opportunity to, once again, extend my gratitude to the UAE Leadership and all UAE Government authorities for the extraordinary care extended to all residents of UAE, including the large Indian community, during the last two years of this unprecedented crisis.
I once again wish everyone a very Happy Republic Day. Stay Safe, Jai Hind.
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