UAE: 1,000 health workers create giant Onam floral carpet to highlight COP28, Year of Sustainability

The team showcased the essence of 17 Global Goals like No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Gender Equality, and Climate Action among others

More than 1,000 healthcare workers in Abu Dhabi united on Saturday to spread the word on sustainable development and climate action through a uniquely crafted giant floral carpet – a tradition marking Onam, the harvest festival of the Indian state of Kerala. Paying a floral tribute to the UAE’s Year of Sustainability and the COP28 to be held in Dubai this year, hundreds of frontline workers meticulously laid out a 250sqm ‘pookkalam’, a floral carpet, designed to mirror the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as Global Goals. The COP28 UAE will see the first Global Stocktake taking place at the mid-point in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs. Marking the all-important year for the UAE and the world, Abu Dhabi-headquartered Burjeel Holdings highlighted the need for united action on sustainability and the climate crisis. Arranging the giant floral carpet with 750kg of real flowers in around 15 hours in the atrium of Burjeel Medical City, the team showcased the essence of 17 Global Goals like ‘No Poverty’, ‘Zero Hunger’, ‘Gender Equality’, and ‘Climate Action’ among others. The breathtaking creation during the UAE’s largest sustainability-focused Onam celebrations served as a visual reminder of the pressing global challenges and the collective responsibility to address them.

Shaping the future

Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to the UAE, who attended the event with his family, 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 ‘pookkalam’ is a reminder that our actions today will shape the world for future generations,” said Sudhir.

Dignitaries, including Mohammed Ahmed Al Yamahi, Deputy President of the Arab Parliament, Member of the Federal National Council (FNC), UAE, and the International Council of Tolerance, and Naema Al Sharhan, Member of the FNC, participated with great enthusiasm.

“It has been an enriching experience participating in this unique cultural celebration at Burjeel Medical City. Just like each of us cherish our traditions, we must commit ourselves to nurturing a greener planet,” said Al Yamahi.

Celebrating traditions

Later, cultural performances took centrestage as the healthcare workers showcased their heritage through drums, song, dance, and other activities involving 76 performers, celebrating 76 years of India’s independence. The main attraction was a staff dressed as the mythical King Mahabali. Staff members from different emirates, their family members, patients, and the senior leadership team made the event a grand success.

John Sunil, group CEO of Burjeel Holdings, emphasised the group’s dedication to aligning business practices with environmental responsibility.

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