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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 March 2019

Rahul Gandhi in Dubai: transport plans for Dubai Cricket Stadium address

An audience of 25,000 is expected at Dubai International Cricket Stadium to hear the 'emerging leader'

Thousands of supports are expected to witness Rahul Gandhi's speech in Dubai on Friday. AFP
Thousands of supports are expected to witness Rahul Gandhi's speech in Dubai on Friday. AFP

Free transportation will be provided as an estimated 25,000 people get set to flock to an address by "emerging" Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi in Dubai on Friday.

The president of the Indian Congress Party is expected to draw a huge crowd for his public gathering at Dubai International Cricket Stadium and organisers are laying on hundreds of buses across the UAE to help supporters attend the event.

Many residents said they planned to bring their family along to hear a politician they see as a contender for the prime minister’s post in India.

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“I have got around 1,000 calls from people asking about transportation,” said Pradeep Nemmara, a Sharjah businessman and a secretary of the Overseas Indian Cultural Society, one of the organisers.

“He is an emerging leader and that’s why people want to hear him. The feeling is that he will be the next Prime Minister and that is the reason for the excitement.”

Mr Nemmara will be at the stadium accompanied by his wife and two young daughters.

Mr Gandhi’s visit is being viewed as an opportunity for the opposition leader to connect with Indians living overseas. His first official visit to the UAE comes after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s lost three key state elections in December.

The general elections will be held over April and May.

Organisers said snacks and water would be provided to people at the venue. Contact numbers for volunteers handling free local transportation were released online to enable residents to coordinate directly on pick-up points.

Some 200 buses will carry people in Dubai from areas such as Qusais, Sonapur, Deira, Karama, Bur Dubai, Al Quoz, Jebel Ali and Khawaneej.

About the same number of buses will transport people in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain from supermarkets, schools and labour accommodations.

Shuttle services have also been organised in Dubai from the Mall of the Emirates and Internet City metro stations.

Mr Gandhi will meet workers, businessmen, students and teachers in Dubai, visit the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and is likely to meet UAE ministers.

Mr Gandhi is due to speak about tolerance, independence hero Mahatma Gandhi and the challenges faced by Indians overseas during the address.

For more information on transport options for the event, visit www.rginuae.com

Updated: January 11, 2019 09:53 AM

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