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Thousands gathering in Abu Dhabi to celebrate India's heritage

Organisers are expecting between 35,000 and 40,000 people to join in the three-day festival in celebration of India's cultural heritage.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend a three-day family festival in Abu Dhabi to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of India, while also embracing other nations.

Food, music, shopping and entertainment will draw the crowds to India Fest Season 3. Organisers are expecting between 35,000 and 40,000 people at India Social & Cultural Centre Abu Dhabi (ISC) on December 6, 7 and 8.

The event’s general convener is expecting people from across the UAE.

“We are really proud of having such an event connected to ISC. There is a very strong Indian community in Abu Dhabi,” said Penattu Skariah Jacob, who is also honorary vice president of ISC.

“There is a non-stop entertainment programme. They can go shopping and have whatever they want. This is one of the best places they can find everything together. It’s a small form of Dubai Shopping Festival,” he said.

There will be more than 100 trade stalls and exhibitors, including Abu Dhabi University giving out information on courses at the event on Meena Street.

Performers will include a folk dance troupe from Goa, African drummers and a salsa group, as well as Arabic entertainment.

“This is the signature event of our centre,” said Mr Jacob.

The UAE is home to more than 1.75 million Indian expatriates, the largest community of overseas workers in the Emirates. But organisers want people of all nationalities to attend the event, which is supported by the Embassy of India.

“I think the significance of this event is that it attracts people from all walks of life. It is open to all the Indian community as well as other communities,” said Eappen Mammoottil, general secretary of ISC.

“We want everyone to come and see our culture.”

Tickets are Dh5 a day and are available from the ISC. For more information visit www.indiafest.ae

ecleland@thenational.ae

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