50,000 to jostle in 32,000-capacity Dubai stadium for PM's address

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Abu Dhabi
  • Updated: Aug 17, 2015 07:54 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi on the first day of his two-day visit to the UAE. Modi will address a crowd of more than 50,000 people at Dubai International Cricket stadium which has a capacity of only 32,000 people.(PTI Photo/Atul Yadav)

Crowd management during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address in Dubai on August 17 is proving to be a logistical nightmare for the organisers as 50,000 people are expected to swarm the Dubai International Cricket stadium which has a capacity of only 32,000 people.

Modi will be addressing the diaspora at 9pm IST on Monday, soon after attending a reception hosted by Indian ambassador to the UAE, TP Seetharam. As many as 300 people are expected to attend the reception.

Desert coolers to beat the heat, giant screens for those unable to see Modi’s speech in the stadium and special buses to ferry enthusiasts have been arranged for those who want to attend the event. “We will put up chairs everywhere in the ground too, except of course on the pitch,” said an official.

The Prime Minister will be speaking in Hindi but efforts are on to get FM channels to translate the speech real time into regional languages like Malayalam and Telugu. Those who attend the event at the stadium too will be given a translator to overcome the language barrier. Most of the 2.6 million Indians who work in the country are from the south, mainly Kerala.

The gates of the stadium will open much in advance and will close at 6.30 pm local time. It will be followed by the official programme which includes a one-hour cultural show.

“The diaspora is keenly waiting for the event; after all an Indian Prime Minister is visiting the country after 34 years. Prime Minister Modi is also addressing a gathering of mostly blue collar workers,” Zafar Sareshwala, who is known to be a confidant of the Prime Minister said.

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