Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to undertake a two-day official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from February 13 to 14, during which he will inaugurate the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, the BAPS Mandir, and will also engage with the Indian diaspora. The Ministry of External Affairs released a statement confirming PM Modi’s itinerary, stating, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay an official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 13 to 14 February 2024.”
This visit marks PM Modi’s seventh trip to the UAE since 2015 and the third within the past eight months. The statement highlights that during the visit, PM Modi will hold bilateral meetings with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries and discuss regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Modi is set to meet with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Defence Minister of the UAE. He will also participate as a Guest of Honour in the World Government Summit 2024 in Dubai, where he will deliver a special keynote address.
The MEA also announced PM Modi’s plans to inaugurate the BAPS Mandir and address the Indian community in the UAE at an event in Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi. The statement emphasizes the warm, close, and multi-faceted relations between India and the UAE, which have been elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership since PM Modi’s landmark visit in August 2015.
Both countries have signed agreements such as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in February 2022 and a Local Currency Settlement (LCS) System in July 2023 to promote cross-border transactions using the Indian Rupee and the Emirati Dirham. India and the UAE share robust economic ties, with bilateral trade reaching approximately USD 85 billion in 2022-23. Moreover, the UAE stands among the top four investors in India in terms of foreign direct investments during the same period.
The statement underscores the significant contribution of the Indian community in the UAE, comprising around 3.5 million individuals, who play a vital role in the host country’s development. Their contributions serve as a cornerstone of the excellent bilateral engagement between India and the UAE.