Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make his first visit to the Gulf region and West Asia, with a trip to the United Arab Emirates, making it as the first time an Indian PM to land in the UAE in more than three decades. Late Indira Gandhi was the last Indian Prime Minister to travel to the UAE in 1981.
Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar has met with General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and handed over a letter from the Prime Minister. Mr. Modi is expected to fly to Abu Dhabi on August 16.
“The PM’s visit is expected to give a fillip to bilateral cooperation in key areas and boost trade and investment ties, which are the cornerstone of the UAE-India partnership,” a source said.
Modi's visits to foriegn nations are aimed at the country's prosperity
Modi will hold talks with the leadership of UAE on key issues of trade and security and address the Indian community. Modi will also travel to Abu Dhabi and Dubai during his visit, which is expected to further boost the strong economic, cultural and social ties between India and the second largest Arab economy.
The Gulf nation is the 10th biggest foreign investor in India with an estimated $3.01 billion in FDI flowed in as of January and its third biggest trading partner after China and the US. In 2014-15, bilateral trade between the two nations stood at close $60 billion. India is an important export destination for UAE-manufactured goods, in 2014-15 the UAE became the second largest importer of Indian merchandise with sales topping $33 billion. The same year, the UAE was also the sixth largest import source of crude oil for India. There is also a large Indian business community in the UAE, which in 2013 made remittances of over $15 billion.
The Indian Community Welfare Community (ICWC) is organising a public reception at the Dubai Cricket Stadium. "An organising committee has been formed to make this a grand success. Transport arrangements are being made to make this a grand success," ICWC said in the statement.
The meeting with the 2.6-million-strong Indian community in the UAE, the highest among all expat communities is big on Modi's two-day trip, which begins on August 16, and is in line with his pro-active diaspora outreach initiative. A public event is being planned at the Dubai Cricket Stadium in the evening of August 17.
The Indian Community Welfare Committee (ICWC) is up with the preparations for Modi's visit and has set up an organising committee to oversee the arrangements. According to BR Shetty, a member of the organising committee, the reception is expected to attract at least 40,000 people of Indian origin.