Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Textiles, and Leader of the Indian Rajya Sabha, inaugurated the India Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020. Taking an opening tour of the 8,750 sq.m. pavilion, the minister previewed the different levels of the pavilion, each exploring India’s different regional states and leading industries. The grand finale of the pavilion features a panoramic segment of India’s most famous historical and spiritual landmarks. It includes heritage sites and grand buildings like the Red Fort, Gwalior Fort, Statue of Unity, Varanasi Ghat, Temple of Tanjore, Swaminarayan Akshardham and many other landmarks from throughout India.
The minister was captivated by the sight of the crystal-like model of the iconic BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, and said, "This is truly amazing. It will be a great addition to the UAE."
During his remarks at the opening of the Expo, the minister commended the UAE leadership for their ability to host the Expo 2020, despite the immense logistical challenges and travel bans due to the pandemic. The minister elaborated on the significance of India's participation in Expo 2020, coinciding at a time when India is celebrating 75 years of its independence and UAE is celebrating the 50th year of its foundation. "UAE is one of India's most valued partners and a close friend. Expo 2020 will prove to be a landmark in strengthening the relationship between the two countries further," he remarked.
Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian steel magnate based in the United Kingdom and Executive Chairman of the world's largest steelmaking company, also visited the breathtaking Mandir exhibit and simply exclaimed, “Fantastic!” upon seeing the model structure.
Other notable guests to the Mandir model exhibition included Anil Agarwal, a leading businessman, His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman AlBanna, the UAE Ambassador to India, Vinod and Karan Adani of the Adani Group, His Excellency Dr. Aman Puri, the Consul General of India, His Excellency Mr. Pavan Kapoor, the Ambassador of India to the United Arab Emirates.
Navdeep Singh Suri, former India Ambassador to the UAE, visited and said with great joy, “This is a dream project coming true.”
The BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi is wholeheartedly supported by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BAPS Hindu Mandir will cater not just to the people of the UAE, but will welcome countless tourists from all countries and walks of life, and will promote the messages of happiness and harmony.
The construction of the Mandir began in December 2019 with the blessings of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. The current structure under construction stands at a height of 15 feet. Upon completion, this magnificent mandir will be a marvel made of seven spires and five ornate domes, which shall serve the UAE and the world for millennia to come.
The BAPS Hindu Mandir exhibit in the India Pavilion at Expo 2020 enables visitors to immerse themselves in the various ways this Mandir will create, promote, and sustain harmony in line with the UAE’s vision of tolerance. All visitors will be greeted and received by volunteers at an on-site reception lounge. Visitors will also have the opportunity to view the construction site and see history in the making before their very eyes.