Dubai: A day-long Diwali and Hindu New Year's celebrations will be hosted at the site of the first Hindu temple in UAE's capital Abu Dhabi next Friday, according to a statement. The festivities will be held at the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar-Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Hindu Mandir site on November 1, the statement released by the temple authorities said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in February last year laid the foundation stone for the temple via video conferencing from the Dubai Opera House, where he addressed the members of the Indian community. Open to one and all, the celebrations are an opportunity for the all guests to appreciate Hindu traditions and culture, according to the statement. An exhibition will also be organized to commemorate the UAE's 'Year of Tolerance', along with a variety of different cultural programs, including devotional songs performed by prominent members of the Indian community, it said. A blood donation camp has also been organised in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Blood Bank. Last year's celebration saw more than 10,000 UAE residents attend the 'annakut' offering which included a model of the Burj Khalifa made from spaghetti and the Dubai Frame made out of biscuits and candy. A host of dignitaries and government officials are expected to attend the event along with prominent local religious leaders and other leading community members. Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is being celebrated in India on October 27 this year.
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