Apart from reducing travel time back home, UAE’s Odia community hopes the ministry will boost tourism in Indian states
Odias, non-residents residing in the UAE, flew in specially on the inaugural Dubai-Bhubaneshwar direct flight on Tuesday, May 15, 2023, and met Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha.
They thanked him for stepping in to start these flights to India’s eastern state.
Residents reiterated that the flight (operated by IndiGo) is special in that it fulfills the promise made by the Minister when he attended an investor meeting in Dubai in June 2022.
Priyadarshee Panigrahi, a senior member of the UAE’s Odia community, and several others met the state’s Chief Minister at the ‘Naveen Nivas’ after landing from Dubai.
They thanked him for launching these direct flights, a long-pending request of the Odia diaspora.
Panigrahi said: “It was a great feeling to fly non-stop from Dubai to Odisha in about four hours, saving time, money and a lot of inconvenience. traditional dagger, a ‘Khanjar’ and dates.”
In addition to this, a “Letter of Appreciation” signed by a cross-section of Odia residents in the UAE was handed over.
Among the many signatories of the thank you letter are Captain Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, another senior member, Senior Doctor Dr Rajesh Pattanayak, Dr Sudeep Mohapatra, Senior Banker Sandeep Das, Lalatendu Mohanty, Entrepreneur Tushar Sahu, Richa Samantaray, Railway Safety Expert Bira Kishore Samal , financial professional Rajat Rath and renowned Odia artist Mona Biswarupa Mohanty.
The letter speaks of the prompt and honest fulfillment of the commitments made by the Chief Minister to the UAE’s Odia community during his visit to Dubai last June.
Expats believe that the flight will be a boon for all Odias living in the UAE. The community hopes that, besides making expatriates’ home journey more comfortable, the direct flight will boost tourism and investment in Odisha.
The minister thought he was glad the flight had started and said “welcome home” to the UAE residents.
Indian Consulate commemorates the launch
Meanwhile, a special cultural evening ‘Odisha Dibas’ was held in Dubai on Tuesday to commemorate the launch of direct flights between Bhubaneswar and Dubai, with the state’s CM virtually speaking at the gathering.
The event was attended by more than 1000 participants including Odia Diaspora and dignitaries from the UAE, Middle East.
Dr. Aman Puri, Consulate General of India in Dubai, congratulated the state government on this milestone step in improving global connectivity in Odisha, saying that the start of direct connectivity between global cities, Dubai and Odisha will How to create unparalleled opportunity for the state and will connect the state to the world.
He expressed confidence that Odia Diaspora and the Indian diaspora in the UAE and the Middle East will use this direct connection to visit and explore “India’s best kept secrets”.