Dubai Pravasi Yatra – A Resounding Success

The Dubai Pravasi Yatra (DPY), held from 7th to 11th October, 2016, as one of the most awaited international Zoroastrian events of the year, with PARSI TIMES AS THE EXCLUSIVE MEDIA PARTNER IN INDIA, turned out to be a grand success with participation including 70 international delegates and 600 local (Dubai) residents.

dpy-awardeesThe event was held under the auspices of WZCC, an organization that values building relationships with its key constituents comprising businessmen and professionals through a variety of programs across the globe. DPY provided the effective platform to explore business opportunities as well as sight-seeing in just 4 days’ time. The WZCCME team did a stellar job ensuring top networking opportunities for all businessmen; as also for those holidaying who experienced delightful hospitality in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Those who got together to explore business opportunities were happy with the leads and offers that fell into their lap in just 4 days’ time in the field of art, medicine, law and financial investment. The success can be attributed to the advance preparations made by the WZCCME Team ensuring that all businessmen met top personnel in leading organisations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

dpy-1Day one kicked off with a hospitable reception of the delegates and a Jashan ceremony performed by the Ervads in Dubai at the Hilton Garden Inn, followed by the rendition of the song, ‘Spreading Peace and Love’  and the screening of the rare film, ‘10 Incredible Projects of Dubai’. The WZCCME Team comprising Porus Guzder – President; Firdaus Irani – Chapter Chair; Nowshir Engineer – Business Development Director (WZCCME); Cyrus Debara – Youth Director (WZCCME); Kashmira Kotwal – Treasurer; and Wahbeez Wankadia – Secretary, after brief introduction of themselves, highlighted the twin objectives of hosting a game changer program for community members worldwide, that successfully redefined travel and tourism for families and leisure-cum-commerce for businessmen.

Meher Bhesania, the founding director of WZCCME, speaking on the World Expo 2020 said it was expected to bring 20 million visitors to Dubai in 2020. She added that Dubai Pravasi Yatra is a salute to the Zoroastrians living in the GCC region, who came without any connections, braved difficulties and ultimately succeeded in their respective trades and professions. She extended a hearty welcome to all the delegates. Next was a trip to the Dubai Mall located at the foot of Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world, and the Dancing Fountains, the tallest fountains in the world, followed by a Dhow cruise which showed the old and new parts of the city side by side and a lavish dinner onboard the cruise.

dpy-2The second day was dedicated to sightseeing where the delegates were shown the manmade Palm Island, The Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah, the Atlantis, Dubai Museum and included shopping in world-class mega malls as well as strolling through the dazzling Gold Souk. The evening hosted a talk at the India Club on Setting up businesses in the UAE, delivered by Priyesh Kapadia, Senior Partner, BDO Chartered Accountants and Advisors; the screening of the film, ‘The Eternal Flame’ produced by Meher Bhesania, covering the journey of Zoroastrians from Iran to India who braved all odds to preserve their religion and culture.; and the presentation of the prestigious Dubai Pravasi Yatra Awards, which were awarded to members in recognition of their contribution to the community and society. These included Hon. Mr. Dadi Mistry (Member of the National Commission for Minorities in New Delhi); Dr. Keki Turel (India’s leading Neuro Surgeon); Khodayar Attaie (Former Director and Vice President of the WZCC and vanguard of the community in Iran); Villoo Mirza (Former Director of National Institute of Fashion Technology, Gandhinagar and the Founding Director of ‘Self  Employed Women’s Association’ or SEWA, Ahmedabad); and Manek Kalyaniwalla (Solicitor, Advocate and the seniormost Associate of M/s Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe; Trustee of various organisations and recently elected Director of The Zoroastrian Co-operative Bank Ltd). Next was a gala dinner followed by a visit to the Sheikh Rashid Auditorium to enjoy the hilarious comedy play, ‘The Laughter Therapy’ by NCPA and Silly Point Productions, which left everyone in splits! The young team of artists received rave reviews at their debut performance in Dubai.

Sightseeing in Abu Dhabi via a luxury coach was the agenda of Day three, with the first stop at the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the major sightseeing attractions followed by the culturally rich corniche; the heritage village; the dates market and the Emirates Palace Hotel, the most sought after 7 star luxury hotel of the Emirati Capitol. A grand feast of authentic Iranian dinner at the famous Iran Zamin restaurant followed. And the fourth and last day was yet another fun-filled day with delegates being taken to the Mall of Emirates, with a late afternoon spent experiencing the thrills of Desert Safari and dune bashing, barbeque dinner, camel riding, belly dancing, henna painting and tanoura dancing.

In conclusion, the Dubai Pravasi Yatra delivered on its promise and more by providing Zoroastrians a common international platform to explore a new destination at an economically priced package; generous gifts; excellent food; luxurious travel and stay, and most importantly, the opportunity to mingle with fellow Zoroastrians in the UAE! Experiencing the vacation of a lifetime, the delegates departed with a smiles and large shopping bags on 11th October 2016. Several messages of gratitude and thanks were received from delegates expressing great satisfaction at the seamless operation of the trip, adding even more greatly to the sense of success for the WZCCME organisers!

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