by Shodhan Kumar, Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, Mar 11: His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Ecomony and Planning, laid the foundation stone for the new premises of India Social & Cultural Centre in Abu Dhabi which was a long standing dream for all the Indian Community in Abu Dhabi. Earlier as planned H.H.Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces was supposed to do the honours but due to busy schedule was unable to attend. Also present were H.E. C.M . Bhandari, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Municipality, General Secretary of Municipality, Abu Dhabi, Business tycoons B.R. Shetty, NMC Group, Yousuf Ali, Emke Group, Mohan Jashanmal, Jashanmal Group, Shekar Shetty, Arab Udupi Group and many more were present with a crowd of more than thousands of the Indian Community during the ceremony.
The new building premises is said to fetch a cost of more than Dhs.30 million and located close to the present premises of ISC in Mina Road near W&E Club. His Highness arrived at 5 pm and was welcomed by host of children dressed in well clad Indian and Arabic traditional dress and drums of kerala showered by flowers on his arrival. Thomas John, President of ISC welcomed the guests, followed by speaches from HE Ambassador of India, Yousuf Ali and Vote of Thanks by Dr. B.R. Shetty. Sweets were distributed to all the invitees by Arab Udupi Group.
The new building will be constructed on land allotted by Govt. of Abu Dhabi which as per HE Ambassador of India "will be the mirror of our Indian Community". The new building will have facilities like Health Club and Gym, Swimming Pool, Table Tennis Room, Squash room, Badminton Courts, Billiard Room, Seminar Rooms, Multi-purpose Auditorium, Banquet Hall, Business Centre, Library, Reading Room, Arts & Crafts Gallery, Mini Hall, Internet Desk, Restaurants, Snack Bar, Coffee shop etc.
The Ambassador and the Business Tycooms of India thanked late Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan and their family for their long standing relationship with Indian Community and for their whole hearted support for Cultural, Educational & Sports activities in UAE for all the Indian Community.
Also Dr. B.R. Shetty briefed about the forthcoming Cricket events between India & Pakistan which will be hosted in Abu Dhabi in the month of April 2006 made agreed with the help of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Government of India. This is again one more step ahead to better the tie-ups between two great countries.
All the dignatories thanked His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE for all his support and blessings to the Indian Community and for the betterment of UAE-India relationship.