- Event held in the classy location of Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, a much sought-after place in Dubai.
- Over 400 gathering consisting majority representing other nationalities
- Event promotes
- Sri Lanka as a renowned destination for both tourism and investment
Commemorating the 70th anniversary of independence of Sri Lanka and the 25th year of its establishment in Dubai, the Consulate General of Dubai and the Northern Emirates celebrated both occasions at a grand National Day reception event held in Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai on 4 February.
Over 400 guests including key personalities such as diplomats representing over 50 countries, Emirati dignitaries, leading businessmen operating in the UAE, representatives of the Sri Lankan Associations based in Dubai and the Northern Emirates along with key figures of the Sri Lankan expatriate community in UAE, graced this event, which was held at a much sought after location in the Burj Khalifa building itself.
Speaking at the event Sri Lanka’s Consul General Charitha Yattogoda, highlighted that, “The development process spearheaded by the President and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka is gaining its momentum in both local and international spheres.” He further stated, “In line with the Government of Sri Lanka’s vision 2025, it has been envisaged to position Sri Lanka as an export-oriented economic hub in the Indian Ocean, securing opportunities for local businesses in the Global Production Networks. In keeping with vision 2025, concrete steps will be taken to shift from exporting mainly low-technology products to high tech products and to attract transformational, knowledge-based investments.”
Speaking on the bilateral relations, the Consul General added that “over the decades, Sri Lanka has been enjoying friendly relations with the UAE in the fields of trade, investment, Tourism and economic cooperation.
The cordial relations between Sri Lanka and the UAE are based on trust, mutual understanding and friendship.
The UAE is the largest export market for the Sri Lankan products and the largest source of imports to Sri Lanka in the GCC Region. The total bilateral trade turnover between the countries has now reached over $ 1.34 billion.”
The Consul General further briefed the gathering on the measures taken by the Consulate General to enhance its services provided to the Sri Lankan Community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates such as the translation of its website into both Sinhala and Tamil, in keeping with the trilingual policy of the Government of Sri Lanka, in addition to the achievements of the Consulate General such as winning the “Best-Website or Microsite” award at the SLT Zero One Awards for digital excellence, held in Sri Lanka in last year.
Throughout the event, digital images were displayed in the backdrop promoting Sri Lanka as a unique destination complete with heritage, nature, beaches, wildlife, tranquillity which received an appreciative response from the foreign gathering. The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau was also the major sponsor of the event.
In addition, five minute video clips, displaying the touristic attractions of Sri Lanka and the investment opportunities available for the potential investors were played during the event, thereby boosting Sri Lanka’s image as a much sought-after destination among the elite crowd.
The proceedings of the event commenced with lighting the traditional oil lamp by the Chief Guest along with four members of Sri Lankan Community representing Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Burger communities showing the solidarity of the four major Sri Lankan communities living in the UAE.
The dancing performances of Chandana Wickramasinghe and the Dancers’ Guild specially flown from Sri Lanka to perform at the event, consisted of a number of unique performances such as “Abisek”, “Naga Raksha”, “Rupat Nari” and “Thelme”, presenting the essence of Sri Lankan Culture to the participating international audience.
Further, the attendees were able to enjoy sumptuous buffet dinner which included special Sri Lankan delicacies such as Sri Lankan hoppers, Kotthu Roti, etc, specially prepared by the Sri Lankan sous chef of the hotel, and were highly appreciated by the foreign guests.
This event was hosted in addition to the official National Day ceremony which was held at the Consulate General premises on 4 February in which the hoisting of the National Flag, reading the National Day messages of the President, Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs along with multi-faith religious observances were carried out. Additionally, the Sri Lankan Day 2018, which was planned to be held in unique and exclusive nature for a mass crowd, unfolded in Zabeel Park, Dubai on Friday 9 February.