Indian expats elated over PM Modi’s upcoming Dubai speech

Abu Dhabi: The Indian community in the UAE is full of enthusiasm to see, hear and cheer Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he delivers his public address at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Undertaking a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the invitation of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Modi is set to address a 30,000-strong Indian expat crowd in the stadium.

Some Indian expatriates said celebrations here of India`s 69th Independence Day were special because “India`s leader Narendra Modi has graced it”.

Indian consul general here Anurag Bhushan praised the efforts of the Indian community in the UAE who left no stone unturned efforts to make the event possible, Khaleej Times reported on Sunday.

“I hope everyone will come with the Indian national flag and celebrate in the spirit of brotherhood,” Bhushan was quoted as saying.

Several people, who attended the Independence Day celebrations at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, expected Modi to look into the plight of Indian labourers living in the UAE.

“The executives have done well for themselves. But it is the workers who need Modi`s support and encouragement,” Dubai resident Amit Soni said.

Narendra Modi is the second Indian prime minister after Indira Gandhi who visited the UAE in 1981.

“We have high hopes from him because his plan of action and his forward thinking way of governance has been very beneficial for India. I hope he makes NRI voting a reality,” another Dubai resident Vartika Singh said.

Meanwhile, many Indians living in different parts of the UAE will be travelling to Dubai to attend the programme, the daily said.

“I will be travelling to Dubai on Monday with a group of friends. I will miss four hours of work on that day but I don`t mind. I won`t get this opportunity again,” Sharjah resident Dolly Gir said.

Some Indians said they were willing to skip work because meeting Modi was a “once in a lifetime event”.

“It is like the cricket world cup all over again. I`ve been thinking of excuses on how to leave work early all week,” said Vaibhav Raisinghani, an MBA student and Dubai resident.

There are an estimated 2.6 million Indian expatriates residing in the UAE.