Dubai: The Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) on Monday honoured nine Emiratis distinguished in various fields for their contributions to cementing the friendship between India and the UAE.
Those honoured included Mirza Al Sayegh, director of the office of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance. Al Sayegh is also the patron of IBPC and a former diplomat who served in India.
Another awardee was Shaikh Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, managing director, Al Saud Group, chairman, Barjeel Geojit Securities, founder, Barjeel Art Foundation.
Abdullah Humaid Al Mazroui, former Minister of Labour and Justice, and Dr Tayyeb Kamali, former vice-chancellor of CERT (Centre of Excellence for Applied Research & Training), were also among the awardees.
Saud Salim Al Mazroui, director, Sharjah Hamriyah Free Zone and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone; Dr Eisa Mohammad Bastaki, president, University of Dubai; Ahmad Mohammad Kajoor, director of IT Department, Dubai Municipality; and Ahmad Saeed Al Raqbani, director of National Bank of Fujairah, were also honoured. Shaikha Hend Faisal Al Qassemi, editor-in-chief, Velvet Magazine, was the only woman who was honoured at the ceremony.
They were honoured by Indian parliamentarian Richard Hay and national spokesperson of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, along with Vipul, Consul-General of India in Dubai, and IBPC president advocate Bindu S. Chettur.
The award ceremony was held for the first time as part of the UAE National Day celebrations by IBPC.
Chettur said people-to-people contact and friendship between them are important to create better synergies between countries. “The stronger our relationships, the stronger the relationship between the nations,” she said.
Vipul applauded IBPC for taking up the initiative to recognise the contribution of Emirati friends in strengthening the bond between India and the UAE.
He said all Indians shared the joy of their Emirati brothers and sisters about all the achievements that this magnificent country has made in the last few decades. “Indians, being an integral part of the journey, have both contributed to and benefited from the impressive progress that the UAE has made.
“Like our Emirati friends, Indians are also proud that today the UAE is seen as a symbol of not only of economic progress and development but even more importantly of security, tolerance, cohesiveness, and happiness,” Vipul said.
The event titled ‘Celebrating our friendship, honouring our friends’, he said, also conveyed the gratitude of Indian workers, professionals and businessmen to the UAE leadership which has given such a good environment for them to work here.
“Both our countries have maintained very steady high-level contacts since the historic visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE in 2015. Today both sides are actively engaged in giving shape and depth to the comprehensive strategic partnership that we agreed on during the visit of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commanded of the UAE Armed Forces, to India as the chief guest on the Republic Day of India.”
The establishment of three diplomatic missions of the UAE in India is an indication of the interest of the UAE in India, said Al Sayegh, who had served as the UAE’s first deputy ambassador in New Delhi in 1973, and as the head of the UAE Consular Mission in Mumbai from 1974 to 1976.
He praised the contributions of India and Indians in supporting the UAE’s progress and development.
India is the biggest trade partner of the UAE and Indian community is the largest expatriate community here.