All roads in Dubai would be leading to the Dubai International Cricket Stadium where 50,000 Indian expatriates have registered for ‘Marhaba Namo’ a grand public reception being held for visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday evening.
Modi, who is on a 2 day visit to the UAE, is to address the Marhaba Namo, which is being touted as another Madison Square Garden-like event.
The ‘Marhaba Namo’ is being hailed as unprecedented in the history of the UAE where for the first time a visiting head of state has been allowed a reception on this scale.
The seating capacity inside the stadium is 30,000, an additional 15,000 will be accommodated outside the stadium, where food stalls, DJs and two large video walls will broadcast Modi’s speech live.
Under directives of Dubai Police, the organizers said that gates to the stadium will open at 3pm to allow the public and Narendra Modi is expected to address the event at 8pm in an hour long address.
The cultural programmed will begin at 6.30pm featuring 35 international artistes who have been flown down especially for the event.
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority is organizing around 200 public buses to take people to and from the stadium.
A press statement issued by ‘Marhaba Namo’ said that online registration through a dedicated website www.namoindubai.ae does not ensure entry to the stadium for the public reception for Modi.
“Gates of the stadium will be closed as soon as it is filled to capacity,” the statement added and children below five years of age will not be allowed and bringing of food, cameras and video cameras will be restricted, said organizers.
Around 40,000 food packets will be ready for visitors and free water will be provided, they said and Giant screens outside the stadium will display the event live for people unable to enter the stadium, the organizers said.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Anurag Bhushan, Indian consul general, said and “We are privileged that Modi has decided to pay a visit which comes after 34 years after the last visit made by the then prime minister, Indira Gandhi, in 1981.
Over 1,000 volunteers wearing badges will assist the people, in addition to 340 private security personnel and a contingent of Dubai Police and radio stations will provide live updates, no live relay of the speech has been permitted by the National Media Council. The UAE is home to 2.6 million Indian workers.
A team of 55 health care professionals comprising 30 doctors, 12 paramedics and 13 nurses will be in attendance and they will be split in teams of five attending to medical emergencies inside and outside the stadium.