UAE-India Fest off to a rousing start

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UAE-India Fest off to a rousing start
Navdeep Singh Suri with India Social and Cultural Centre president Joy Thomas John, Sudhir Kumar Shetty, officials from the Abu Dhabi Municipality, and representatives of various organisations during the inauguration.

Abu Dhabi - Now in its eighth season, the three-day festival is one of the biggest Indian cultural carnivals in the Capital.

By Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Fri 15 Dec 2017, 12:01 PM

Last updated: Fri 15 Dec 2017, 9:22 PM

Tens of thousands of residents from across the UAE will join the celebration of cultures as curtains are up on the UAE-India Fest.  Navdeep Singh Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, opened the fest on Thursday night.
Now in its eighth season, the three-day festival is one of the biggest Indian cultural carnivals in the Capital, organised by the India Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) in Abu Dhabi. The awardee of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman  the ISC is celebrating its golden jubilee year.
"It is one of the most exciting events for the community. My family has never missed the fest in the last five years," said Jyothi Vasudev, an Indian mother of three in Abu Dhabi.
Rajesh Nair, another long-timer in Abu Dhabi, said the festival has grown in size and prestige over the years. "It is like a 'little India' in the UAE. It is also an opportunity for other expat communities get a glimpse into the rich cultural offerings of India." 
ISC president Joy Thomas John said India Fest is an annual event that has been celebrated among the Indian community since 2010.
 
"The event is a celebration of the diversity in Indian culture, music and food. It brings Indians from across the country together under one roof. India Fest is designed to be a cultural, recreational and educational experience as visitors have the opportunity to see and interact with diverse aspects of India's deep-rooted culture and heritage," John said ahead of the opening of the fest, late on Thursday.
And the president expects close to 40,000 residents to be part of the celebrations and become partners in the enhancing bilateral relations.
"The three-day event will be an opportunity to pay our humble tribute to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The UAE-India Fest is also significant as the country has declared 2018 as the 'Year of Zayed'. ISC is the largest socio-cultural organisation for the Indian community outside India. In our 50th year, it is our responsibility to make our humble contribution to bolster the bilateral relations," John said.
The event is held under the patronage of the Indian Embassy and the Abu Dhabi Municipality as strategic partner.
ISC entertainment secretary Rajesh S. Nair said such events are the best platform to promote Indian culture.
"There will be over 100 performers both from India and locals, who will wow the audience with some top shows. Violinist Kavya Ajith, Indian playback singers Niranj Suresh and Ramshi Ahmed will surely mesmerise the crowd. Performances by water drummer and DJ will be worth waiting for," Nair said about the late night events on the opening day of Thursday.
The entertainment and performances also include Al Ayala, Khaliji, Tanoura, Indian classical and Bollywood dances as well as Filipino, Spanish, Russian, Samba and more.
The festival will have different themes over the course of three days. There will also be food stalls, African drummers, martial arts and magic shows which will make it a memorable experience for all.
ISC is the biggest facility of its kind for any Indian association and each floor will be packed with business houses showcasing their products. The stalls include those of books, paintings, education institutions, banks, exchange houses, real estate, construction, fashion, jewellery, travel and tourism, cosmetics, toys, perfumes etc.
The roof-top will also see some 25 to 30 food stalls covering diverse Indian cuisine. The lip-smacking food from various restaurants and groups is bound to be a hangout place.
Entry fee to the event is Dh10, which is valid for all three days. The entry ticket will also make one eligible for mega raffle for Chevrolet Aveo and half-a-kilo gold, and 20 other prizes.
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com

Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri and India Social and Cultural Centre president Joy Thomas John chat during the UAE-India Fest at India Social and Cultural Centre.
Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri and India Social and Cultural Centre president Joy Thomas John chat during the UAE-India Fest at India Social and Cultural Centre.
Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri visits the many stalls at UAE-India Fest held at India Social and Cultural Centre.
Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri visits the many stalls at UAE-India Fest held at India Social and Cultural Centre.
Indian artistes and African drummers entertain audience at India Social and Cultural Centre during the UAE-India Fest on Thursday night.
Indian artistes and African drummers entertain audience at India Social and Cultural Centre during the UAE-India Fest on Thursday night.


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