PM Modi's community event, temple opening in mid-Feb in Abu Dhabi sends Indian officials on overdrive

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Dubai, Jan 31 (PTI) Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s February 13-14 visit to the UAE for an Indian community event and a dedication ceremony for a Hindu temple, officials from the Indian Embassy and the Consulate have gone on an overdrive as preparations gather momentum.

PM Modi is scheduled to address the Indian community summit, Ahlan Modi (Hello Modi), at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed stadium on February 13 and is scheduled to attend on February 14 a dedication ceremony at the BAPS Hindu temple getting the finishing touches at the UAE capital.

Regarding the Ahlan Modi event, India’s ambassador to the UAE, Sunjay Sudhir, said they are expecting tens of thousands of people to throng the site of the reception.

Prime Minister Modi along with then US President Donald Trump addressed a massive community event called 'Howdy, Modi!' in Houston, Texas on September 22, 2019.

A registration portal has been set up to smoothen the process and transport is being arranged from all emirates for participants to reach the venue. The event is being organized collaboratively by 150 Indian community organisations in the UAE.

A cultural programme involving 400 local talents has been put together to add colour to the show.

During the last 3 years, over 2,000 artisans from Rajasthan and Gujarat have carved the 402 white marble pillars for the temple.

Earlier, addressing a gathering of diplomats invited to celebrate the Republic Day, Ambassador Sudhir said over 3.5 million Indians call UAE their home, thanks to the affection shown by the country’s leaders.

“One of the most significant developments in bilateral relations in recent years is the construction of the BAPS Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi,” Ambassador Sudhir said.

“The temple, which is expected to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi on the 14th of February, will be a spiritual oasis. Standing on top of a hillock on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, the temple will be a testimony to the enduring tradition of peace and tolerance as aspired by our forefathers Mahatma Gandhi and Sheikh Zayed,” he said.

As announced by the ambassador then, a preview of the temple for ambassadors and spouses from 42 countries to catch a glimpse of the architectural marvel before its inauguration was organised on Monday.

In his welcome address, Ambassador Sudhir shared his excitement at the Mandir nearing completion. “It seemed impossible, but the dream has truly become a reality,” he said.

In his keynote address, Swami Brahmaviharidas, head of the BAPS Hindu Mandir project, provided an overview of the temple’s historical significance, construction process, and global impact. He also expressed gratitude to both the UAE and Indian leadership, emphasising the temple's role as a powerful agent of interfaith and intercultural harmony.

Tej Bahadur Chhetri, Ambassador of Nepal, called the temple a “tirthbhumi (place of pilgrimage)”, adding: “It is an inspiring building that teaches us about love, harmony and tolerance. It is something that we will gift to our future generations. Mahant Swami Maharaj is a great sadhu. Because of him, people were inspired to build this mandir, and it is a huge success.” PTI CORR NPK AKJ NPK NPK