India's Congress party president Rahul Gandhi begins UAE visit
Dubai: India’s Congress party president Rahul Gandhi is beginning his two-day visit to the UAE with a meeting with hundreds of Indian workers in Dubai on Friday morning.
Gandhi, who arrived in Dubai on Thursday evening, received a rousing welcome at the Dubai International Airport.
Shouting ‘Rahul-Rahul’, fans, including women, tried to catch a closer glimpse of their leader, give him bouquets and take selfies with him.
Gandhi arrived with Sam Pitroda, chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress, and was received by All India Congress Committee secretaries and other senior Congress leaders who had already arrived in preparation for his visit.
A part of his global outreach programme that comes ahead of general elections in India, Gandhi’s visit will see him interact with workers, business leaders, professionals, students and the larger Indian expat community.
Gandhi is meeting hundreds of Indian workers at a labour accommodation in Jebel Ali at 10am.
During lunch time, he will attend an interactive meeting organised by the Indian Business and Professional Council in Dubai.
Business leaders and professionals
Around 200 invited Indian business leaders and professionals are expected to attend the function.
The main public event, a cultural meeting of Indian diaspora where Gandhi will be the chief guest, will begin at 4pm at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Gandhi is expected to address a crowd of 25,000 and talk about “the Idea of India” in the context of 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation.
He will speak on the current relevance of Gandhi’s ethos on tolerance, which is also the theme of the Year of Tolerance in the UAE.
He is also expected to speak on the issues faced by the NRIs and give them assurances about what he can do to resolve them.
On Saturday morning, Gandhi will address Indian university students in Dubai before heading to Abu Dhabi.
Gandhi will be visiting Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque and pay tributes to the 100 Years of Zayed.
He will also attend another meeting with business leaders and professionals in Abu Dhabi, organised by the Indian Business and Professional Group.