The 2nd International Day of Yoga organized by Embassy of India was celebrated with fervour and in festive spirit by Indian expatriates, Emiratis and nationals of many other countries in Abu Dhabi on 21st June 2016 in verdant surroundings of Umm Al Emarat (Mother of Nation) Park. The occasion was graced by His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and Her Excellency SheikhaLubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, Government of United Arab Emirate. Video messages of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with Arabic subtitles were telecast over three huge screens and were very well received by enthusiastic participants. The Yoga asanas as per Common Yoga Protocol were simultaneously performed by all present.
Her Excellency SheikhaLubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance in her erudite speech stated “Recognizing its universal appeal, the United Arab Emirates is proud to celebrate, with nations around the world, this very special occasion, and hail the laudable and praiseworthy efforts of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and his call, which led to proclaim 21 June as The International Day of Yoga, an initiative that has gained the support of 177 nations worldwide”
Over 3,500 participants braving the hot weather started gathering at the venue well before the scheduled time of 7.00 pm and remained there till the end of program at 10.20 pm. As a token of respect for Yoga practitioners fasting during the month of holy Ramadan, separate space for ladies was provided for undertaking Yoga in privacy and silence was observed during the Maghreb and Isha prayers during the program which was appreciated by all concerned.
Several performances were given by the members of various associations of expatriate Indians and school children on diverse dimensions of Yoga. Her Excellency SheikhaLubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance graciously handed over mementos to the corporate sponsors of the event. The event was held in collaboration with Umm Al Emarat Park authorities who provided the venue and entry to participants at no fee.
June 22, 2016