UAE’s 250-square-metre Onam ‘Pookalam’ reflects the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Dubai, Aug 26 (PTI) Kickstarting the Onam celebrations, healthcare workers in the UAE came together to spread the message of sustainability and cultural diversity through a stunning and unique floral carpet, mirroring the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the UN.
     Laying out a 250-square-metre ‘Pookalam’, the frontliners offered a floral tribute to the UAE’s Year of Sustainability and the COP28 Climate Change Conference the country will be hosting this year.
     The sprawling floral carpet had been meticulously designed to mirror the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations. It featured an array of colourful flowers arranged to showcase the essence of the goals — no poverty, zero hunger, and climate action — along with others.
     It took 1,000 people around 15 hours to prepare the breathtaking creation. The ‘Pookalam’ served as a visual reminder of the pressing global challenges and the collective responsibility to address them.
     Cultural performances took centre stage as the healthcare workers showcased their heritage through song, dance, and other activities.
     Sunjay Sudhir, India's Ambassador to UAE, encouraged the attendees to promote a greener and more sustainable future.
     “Amid the vibrant colours of Onam, I feel inspired to see the harmony of tradition and sustainability coming together. This celebration pays homage to the rich heritage of India, while also aligning with the UAE’s commitment to sustainability in the year it is hosting COP28. The unique Pookalam is a reminder that our actions today will shape the world for future generations,” Ambassador Sudhir said.
     Adding to the event’s significance was the participation of healthcare workers from around 30 different nationalities, symbolising unity and collaboration on an international level.
     Shuq Almemari, an Emirati national who works at the Administration Department at Burjeel Medical City, was thrilled to participate in the celebrations.
     "This is my first time being a part of Onam celebrations. I was happy to help arrange the beautiful floral carpet and was fascinated by the required artistic skills. I also enjoyed learning more about Indian culture by watching the performances put up by my colleagues,” said Shuq.
     Staff members from different Emirates, their family members, patients, and the senior leadership team at Burjeel Holdings also took part in the event. John Sunil, Group CEO of Burjeel Holdings, emphasised the group’s dedication to aligning business practices with environmental responsibility.

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)