• Sunday, March 03, 2024

‘Ahlan Modi’ in Abu Dhabi scaled down: Here’s why

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi addresses Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, on Wednesday, January 10, 2024. (PTI Photo) (VIDEO GRAB VIA PMINDIA WEBSITE)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE ‘Ahlan Modi’ community event to be addressed by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (13) in Abu Dhabi has been scaled down due to inclement weather conditions in the UAE, an official involved in preparations said on Monday (12).

The event ‘Ahlan Modi’ (‘Hello Modi’ in Arabic) was scaled down after heavy rains and flashes of lightning were reported across the UAE overnight, causing traffic snarls and waterlogging.

Community leader Sajeev Purushothaman told news agency Press Trust of India that preparations for one of the biggest diaspora events of Modi ever at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi were going fine but the participation was reduced from 80,000 to 35,000 because of the weather.

It was earlier reported that 60,000 people had already confirmed, via a website set up to register attendees, to attend the event to be attended by only Indian-origin persons.

Read: Ahlan Modi: 700 artistes, over 150 community groups to welcome India PM

According to Purushothaman, between 35,000 and 40,000 people, including those presenting cultural programmes, will attend the event. He added that more than 500 buses will operate, with over 1000 volunteers at the venue.

Read: Preparations in full swing for ‘Ahlan Modi’ in Abu Dhabi on February 13

A source in the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi said 45,000 people will attend the public event to be addressed by the prime minister.

On September 22, 2019, Modi along with then US president Donald Trump addressed a massive community event called ‘Howdy, Modi!’ in Houston, Texas.

The UAE is home to at least 3.5 million Indians who are part of the Indian workforce in the Gulf. Safety alerts were issued and speed limits were cut on Monday morning across the Gulf nation as large parts of the UAE were lashed by heavy rain, hail, thunder, and lightning overnight.

Thunder rumbled and lightning streaked across the skies in the capital city and Abu Dhabi. People also shared videos of snowfall in the city of Al Ain. However, there was no official confirmation of the snowfall. Prime Minister Modi will pay a two-day visit to the UAE beginning Tuesday, where he will inaugurate a grand BAPS temple in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (14).

The BAPS Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the UAE, is located in Abu Mureikhah near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway.

The temple has come up on around 27 acres of land in Abu Dhabi and the work for the structure has been going on since 2019. The land for the temple was donated by the UAE government.

The UAE has three other Hindu temples that are located in Dubai. The BAPS temple, spread over a large area with stone architecture, will be the largest in the Gulf region.

(With PTI inputs)

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