Images of Mahatma Gandhi more than 100 metres high have been projected onto the Burj Khalifa to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth.
The world’s tallest tower in Dubai was also lit up in colours of the Indian flag as part of celebrations organised by Indian diplomats in the UAE.
Gandhi, long-held as the spiritual leader and father of the country, led the subcontinent to independence from Britain in 1947.
His non-violent, passive resistance movement inspired civil rights groups fighting discrimination around the world.
Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, a UAE-based real estate firm, said Gandhi’s life had a profound impact on millions and that his philosophy of peaceful, civil disobedience still served as an inspiration today.
“By honouring Gandhi, especially as India marks his 150th birth anniversary celebration, we are also saluting the strong UAE-India ties and the contribution of Indians to the development of our nation,” he said.
Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, a coastal town in north-western India.
His birthday is marked as a national festival, as well as being commemorated as the International Day of Non-Violence.
The display on the Burj Khalifa was jointly organised between the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, the Indian Consulate in Dubai and Emaar Properties.
It featured images of Gandhi along with a number of his quotes, including “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Navdeep Singh Suri, said he was delighted to see the UAE celebrating one of the “tallest personalities in the world”.
“I am sure that the events that we will organise over the next few months will not only remind all of us about the enduring message of Mahatma Gandhi but also motivate us to put some of his lessons into practice,” he said.
The ambassador hosted a reception on Tuesday attended by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance, to celebrate the anniversary of Gandhi’s birth.
The ceremony, which was held at the Indian Social Centre in Abu Dhabi, was attended by Indian officials, businessmen and members of the community across the UAE.