Indonesian expats in Dubai will celebrate their country's 74th Independence Day on Saturday at the consulate grounds. Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, and the iconic Adnoc Headquarters in Abu Dhabi will light up in Indonesian national colours to mark the celebration, according to Indonesian Consul-General Ridwan Hassan.Indonesia is the largest archipelagic state in the world and the most populous Muslim country. It proclaimed its independence on August 17, 1945, after being colonised by the Dutch for 350 years and later by Japan for three and half years.An estimated 100,000 Indonesians are currently living and working in the UAE, with 52,000 of them based in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.According to consulate officials, the celebration this year is based around the theme, "Menuju Indonesia Unggul", which is loosely translated as 'Moving forward to a prosperous Indonesia."Various entertainment activities will highlight the festivities at the consulate and traditional Indonesian cuisine will be served on the day, including tumpeng, a celebratory cone-shaped rice surrounded by assorted Indonesian dishes."Celebrating Independence Day is very important for us," Indonesian expat Fahmi Anhar, who hails from Magelang in Central Java, told Khaleej Times. "We are united under one flag and we celebrate our national day with traditional foods, fun games and bazaar in the spirit of unity in diversity. Indonesia has so many tribes, various cultures, local languages, ethnicity and religion but we are one as Indonesia."Monica Lanny Witanto, a long-time Dubai resident, who is originally from Jakarta, added with nostalgia: "When we were young, we attended statehood ceremony during Independence Day. We sang patriotic songs. But now, since I've been living in the UAE, I only watch the ceremony, traditional games and military shows on Indonesian TV channel. But as part of the consulate family, I am blessed to be able to dedicate myself to our lovely country Indonesia."Meanwhile, Hassan said in a previous Khaleej Times interview that "the UAE and Indonesia have always maintained strong ties since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1976."Indonesia's growing economic relations with the UAE are a product of the mutual support given by both countries. The two countries announced targeting a significant increase in bilateral trade to $5.5 billion.
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