Hundreds of colourful kites over Al Mamzar park

Hundreds of colourful kites flew overhead as families gathered for the First International Kite Show in Dubai on Friday, January 19. The event took place at a beach corner inside Al Mamzar Park, Dubai between 10am and 7pm.

A group of youngsters danced to Bollywood music as kite flyers competed against each other for fun.

Sunil Grover of the organizing committee said: “This is the first time we are organising such an event, we were expecting only 500 to 1000 people to show up, surprisingly, people have been coming in nonstop since 10am and we have more than 2000 participants.”

The crowd was mostly made of Indian expats. According to Tanya G. One of the participants: “This is such a great initiative. Dubai should have more such festivals. Even though Dubai has a Kite Festival, this one resembles the festivals we have in India.” The Dubai expat who works as a cabin crew coordinator with a Dubai based airline, added: “In India, as children we grow up watching such festivals and even participating in them, however, for children brought up in Dubai, kite flying is uncommon. I find it fascinating.”

Prashant Lele of Signature events, that helped put the event together said: The whole event took about a month and a half to conceptualize, we got permissions from the government and aviation authorities and we arranged for civil defense and an ambulance to be on standby in case of an emergency.”

The star attraction was a kite show by a team of professional kite flyers who came from India, for this event. The team headed by Mehul J. Pathak of Ahmedabad, India, has been honoured by the American Kite Flyers association and have represented India in 14 countries. Pathak said: “This feels like an Indian festival. It reminds me of how we have kite competitions during Makar Sankranthi. People are even using traditional words that are used in India during such kite games.”

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