Indian expatriates’ interest in attending a public reception for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Dubai Sports City on 17 August has been overwhelming, organisers have confirmed to Gulf News. Around 48,000 Indians registered by Wednesday evening for the event, despite Modi’s two-day visit to the UAE only been announced on Sunday, 9 August .
Registration for the event is free. Due to the overwhelming response, the website of the official organising committee, www.namoindubai.ae, has stopped accepting new registrations for the moment.
The reception will be held at the Dubai International Stadium in Dubai Sports City, which has a seating capacity of 25,000, but the organisers have confirmed that 10,000 chairs will be placed theatre style to accommodate the additional seating for that day. Speaking to Gulf News, B.R. Shetty, an Indian businessman and member of the organising committee, said: “The very first day as soon as we opened the registration we received over 15,000 requests.
“The numbers swelled quickly and this afternoon we had 42,000 registrations completed successfully. We expect over 50,000 to register and our estimate on that day is an audience of 40,000 people, considering some of the registered people may not turn up. “Although the stadium has an expanded capacity of 30,000 we will make sure to accommodate more by covering the ground.” Other arrangements for the event include a cultural show to welcome Modi, and a plan to air-condition the open air stadium as well as distribute free food and water to the audience.
Entry is on a first-come-first-served basis and people are advised to take their seats at least an hour before the start of the event scheduled for 6.30pm. At the invitation of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, this will be Prime Minister Modi’s first official visit to the UAE.
The Prime Minister will also meet with His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai during the visit, a statement posted on the ministry’s website on 11 August said. Modi will be the first Indian leader to visit the UAE since Indira Gandhi in 1981.
Source: Gulf News