I-Day celebrations for Pak, India in UAE

Actor Anil Kapoor says Dubai is his home away from home (All pictures by Bindu Rai)

Pakistani and Indian expats in UAE will wear their patriotism as their badge of honour as the two communities celebrate their respective Independence Day on August 14 and 15, respectively.

While celebrities from Bollywood are flying down for a pre-party that kicks off this weekend, the patriotic spirit will continue to fly high, along with the flags, for both neighbouring countries.

Star-Studded Events

The festivities kick off with the Abu Dhabi Summer Season celebrations that falls under ‘Bollywood in the Capital’, which will run across two days in the capital, from August 12-13.

Fan favourites Vishal-Shekhar will also join Akhtar on day one, while musical trio Shankar, Ehsan and Loy will grace the du Forum stage on Yas Island in a trifecta of performances brought to the capital by Flash Entertainment in association with Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).

On August 12, the much versatile Akhtar will take to the stage with his rock band, with the talented powerhouse sure to give fans a flashback to his ‘Rock On!!’ tracks, along with hits from films such as ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’, ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ and even ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’.

Can we expect a sneak peek into ‘Rock On 2’s’ interlude, which will see Akhtar reprise his role as Aditya Shroff, the lead singer of a rock band? Only time will tell.

Joining Akhtar will be music duo, singers, lyricists and part-time actors, Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani.

With the duo already making waves this year with the soundtrack of ‘Sultan’ and ‘Fan’, Dadlani and Ravjiani look set to perform their golden collection of past and present hits for the first time in the Middle East with an impeccable list of films on their shared resume.

The following day, Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa are set to perform both all-new hits and their platinum classics in Abu Dhabi for the first time in the Middle East.

From debuting with ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ (2001) and blazing trails through the industry after the record-breaking ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ (2005), the trio are widely regarded as one of India’s gems with more than 20 awards and 50 soundtracks to show for their efforts.

Their impressive back catalogue includes over 50 soundtracks including music for the record-breaking box office hit, ‘My name is Khan’, which incidentally premiered in Abu Dhabi in 2010.

Tickets for both performances at the du Forum start at Dh150, and are available at across all Virgin Megastores across the UAE and Ticketmaster.

Later, on August 17, Bollywood and Hollywood actor Anil Kapoor will jet into the emirate for an exclusive '24 questions' session with the actor, who is raising the flag high for India with his hit TV show '24', which is airing on Colors TV.

Dining Delights

If your celebrations include a five-star patriotic meal, then celebrate India's 70th Independence Day at Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar and discover a special four-course menu made up of sensational new and innovative Indian dishes, each dedicated to a famous scientist from the region.

Running from August 14 until 16 August for dinner, at Dh250 per person, the fine dining restaurant at JW Marriott Marquis has crafted a special menu where each course is dedicated to the timeless heroes of Indian history.

These personalities have glorified India by their contribution to society and mankind, and have inspired lots of Indians to excel them in their lives.

Start your meal with some Gujarati Farsan, that will be served as a tribute to Vikram Sarabhai, the scientist and innovator. On the platter will be succulent Dhoklas, Khandvi, Fafdas, Dhabelis home-made chutneys and more.

Bangla Mishti Mishti will present a tribute to Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose one of the first Indian scientists with Patishapta “Bengali Rice Pancake with coconut”, Baked Yoghurt “Bhappa Doi” with textures of Bengali Sweets.

Meanwhile, those eager to sample some scrumptious fare from their hometown in Pakistan, then go no further than everyone's favourite Ravi Restaurant, which will continue to delight once again with its succulent haleem and its halwa puri.

Patriotic Pride

What's an Indpendence Day celebration without taking pride in seeing your country's flag unfurl in all its glory?

On August 14, the Embassy of Pakistan UAE, Abu Dhabi, and Consulate General of Pakistan Dubai will hold flag hoisting ceremonies to mark the 70th Independence Day of Pakistan on Sunday.

In this connection, a flag hoisting ceremony at Abu Dhabi will be held in the Chancery at 8am. Charge d Affairs will hoist Pakistan’s flag and read out the President and Prime Minister’s messages.

Flag-hoisting ceremony at the Consulate General of Pakistan Dubai will also be held in the Consulate premises at 8am as well on the same day. Acting Consul General will hoist the flag and read out the President and Prime Minister’s messages as well.

The previous night, a function to celebrate Pakistan Independence Day will be held on August 13 at 8pm at the Pakistan Social Center Sharjah, UAE. Acting Consul General will be the chief guest on this occasion.

The Indian Independence Day celebrations will also commence on Friday with the musical concert, 'Maa Tujhe Salaam', which will serve as a salute to the motherland. The event will be held at the Sheikh Rashid Auditorium, Indian High School, Dubai, featuring differently abled singers and musicians who will show the audience their blindness does not hold them back to express the love for their country with their music.

On August 15, the Indian Consulate will begin the celebrations by hoisting of the country's flag at the Consulate General of India in Dubai at 8am, which will be followed by a brief cultural programme in the consulate auditorium.

Later, the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC), Dubai, will host a gala dinner reception to commemorate the occasion, which will also feature cultural performances by the Malhaar group.

In Sharjah, the Independence Day will be celebrated with a musical concert featuring famous Sarod-players Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash at the Expo Centre Sharjah, also on August 15.