Even though they are away from their home country, Pakistani nationals living in the UAE have an opportunity to celebrate their country’s National Day with full fervour.
March 21: Official reception by Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi
An official diplomatic reception by the embassy will be held in Abu Dhabi on March 21 at 7.30pm. Held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi, the event will allow hundreds of community members to pay tribute to Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the father of the nation.
March 22-25: ‘Shukriya Pakistan’ festival
Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) will organise a four-day festival ‘Shukriya Pakistan’ (Thank you Pakistan) on its premises in Dubai.
The festival will kick off on March 22 and will be held from 4 to 11pm. The highlight of the festival is the Urdu stage play ‘Mian, Biwi Aur Wagah’ to be performed at Pakistan Auditorium on March 22 and 23.
The Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE will inaugurate the event on the first day.
Director of public and media relations at PAD, Rizwan Fancy, said: “The festival’s activities will include a stage play, performance by comedians and singers, food stalls, games and prizes for children.
“The purpose of bringing so much colour and festivity to one platform is to engage our community and give them a feeling of home away from home.”
Comedians Rauf Lala and Asif ‘Mr. Bean’ with their comedic sketches along with singer Nouman Shah’s patriotic song performances will keep the attendees entertained.
On the final day of the festival, a live telecast of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) will be held.
What to keep in mind?
• The events will be held at the Pakistan Auditorium in the Pakistan Association Dubai at Oud Metha Road.
• The nearest Metro station is the Oud Metha Station.
• It is free of cost to enter, however registering online is a must because seating is limited.
• Children below the age of 10 are not allowed during the stage play.
• Be prepared to shop because there will be clothing, jewellery and food stalls.
March 23: Flag hoisting ceremonies
On March 23, Pakistan’s National Day, flag hoisting ceremonies will be held at the Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai at 8.30am. In the capital, a speech by by Moazzam Ahmad Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to the United Arab Emirates and in Dubai will be followed by a flag hoisting ceremony, whereas the hoisting in Dubai will be done by Syed Javed Hassan, Pakistan Consul General of Dubai.
A spokesperson at the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai told Gulf News: “The atmosphere will be exactly like Pakistan’s Independence Day. There will be speeches at both venues, a cake cutting ceremony, some national songs will be sung by children and there will be several activities for our guests. The event is open to every Pakistani, everyone is welcome!”
There is no entrance fee and refreshments will be served.
The Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi is located on the Al Karamah Street in the Embassies District in Abu Dhabi.
The Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai is located on the Khalid Bin Waleed Road, Bur Dubai. The closest Dubai Metro Station is the BurJuman Metro Station.
March 23: Community events in Northern Emirates
Pakistan Social Centre Sharjah and Pakistan Centre in Ras Al Khaimah have also arranged community events on March 23.
March 26: Official reception by Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai
Similar to the Abu Dhabi event, an official diplomatic reception will be held by the Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai on March 26.
Why is March 23 relevant?
Pakistan Day is celebrated to mark the Lahore Resolution on March 23 each year. The Lahore Resolution, which is also called Pakistan Resolution, passed on March 23, 1940, is considered a major milestone in the struggle for an independent state, which was later called Pakistan. This was the first forum where Muslims of the Indian subcontinent formally demanded a separate homeland for themselves.