Prime Minister Narendra Modi was warmly welcomed by United Arab Emirates President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan upon his arrival in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, 13 February, after which the two leaders held delegation-level bilateral talks.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during a meeting in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra were present during the bilateral meeting in Abu Dhabi, during which the leaders oversaw the exchange of several Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs),
PM Modi highlighted the rarity of their frequent meetings, having met five times in the past eight months. He emphasized the significant progress achieved across various sectors, underscoring the comprehensive partnership between India and the UAE.
Upon his arrival, Prime Minister Modi was greeted with a guard of honor, followed by a ceremonial welcome at the Qasr Al Watan, the Presidential Palace. The leaders engaged in discussions aimed at advancing the bilateral strategic partnership between the two nations.
Discussions between the leaders focused on enhancing cooperation across various sectors including energy, ports, fintech, digital infrastructure, railways, and investment flows. Several agreements were expected to be signed to strengthen collaboration in these key areas.
PM Modi Holds Wide-Ranging Talks with UAE President
According to a readout from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, discussions between the leaders encompassed various sectors, emphasising the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Key agreements were exchanged, including those on investment, energy cooperation, and digital infrastructure. The launch of UAE's domestic card JAYWAN, based on India's RuPay stack, energy partnership discussions and long-term contracts for LNG were a few topics that were discussed.
PM Modi highlighted the substantial growth in cooperation between India and the UAE across various sectors over the past nine years ahead of his visit and emphasised the strengthening cultural and people-to-people connections between the two nations.
During his visit , PM Modi is set to engage in extensive discussions with top leaders of the Gulf nation, aimed at further enhancing bilateral strategic ties.
Among the key agenda items, PM Modi will address a gathering of global leaders at the World Government Summit in Dubai, alongside holding discussions with UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to bolster India’s multifaceted connections with Dubai.
The highlight of PM Modi's visit will be the inauguration of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Mandir, marking a historic moment in Abu Dhabi's cultural landscape.
The temple, situated in Abu Mureikhah near Al Rahba, is spread over approximately 27 acres of land, generously donated by the UAE government. As the largest Hindu temple in the Gulf region, it stands as a testament to the shared values of harmony, peace, and tolerance between India and the UAE.
Key Highlights from PM Modi's Speech in Abu Dhabi
"I have come to meet my family members. I have brought the fragrance of the soil where you were born and have brought the message of 140 crore people. The message is that Bharat is proud of you," PM Modi said while addressing the gathering at the 'Ahlan Modi' cultural event held in Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City Stadium on Tuesday.
"It was the first visit of an Indian PM to the UAE, after three decades. The world of diplomacy was new to me. At that time, I was welcomed at the airport by the then Crown Prince and today's President along with his five brothers. That warmth, the shine in their eyes - I can never forget that. That welcome was not for me alone but for the 140 crore Indians," PM Modi said, recalling his first visit to the Gulf nation.
"Today, India is being recognised for its mega infrastructure projects. India is being recognised as a vibrant tourism destination. India is being recognised as a big sports power. You will be proud to hear this. You know the digital revolution in India. Digital India is appreciated across the world. To ensure that people in UAE also get its benefit, we are making all efforts. We shared RuPay card pack with the UAE...UPI is about to begin in UAE soon. With this, seamless payments will be possible between the UAE and Indian accounts..." PM Modi further said.
"More than 1.5 lakh Indian students are studying in UAE schools... Master's course was started at the IIT Delhi campus here last month and a new CBSE office will be opened soon in Dubai. These institutions will be helpful in providing the best education to the Indian community here," the Indian prime minister said.
"Our relation is that of talent, innovation and culture. In the past, we have re-energised our relations, in every direction. The two countries have walked together and have gone ahead together. Today, UAE is India's third largest trade partner. Today, UAE is the seventh largest investor. Both the countries are cooperating a lot in Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business. Even today, the MoUs that were signed between us are taking forward this commitment. We are integrating our financial system. In the field of technology and innovation, India and UAE partnership is strengthening continuously. In the area of community and culture, what India-UAE have achieved is a model for the world..." Modi said.