Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to address the monumental “Ahlan Modi” diaspora event in Abu Dhabi on February 13, in what is anticipated to be one of the largest gatherings of the Indian diaspora, boasting an estimated 50,000 attendees. The UAE, home to 3.3 million Indians, hosts the largest Indian diaspora globally.
Translated as “welcome” in Arabic, the event precedes the inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Mandir on February 14, where Prime Minister Modi will officiate the ceremony. The Mandir’s foundation stone was laid on April 20, 2019, following the allocation of land by the UAE government during Prime Minister Modi’s 2015 visit.
India-UAE relations have witnessed substantial growth in recent years, with frequent high-level visits and diplomatic exchanges. UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is expected to visit India next week for the vibrant Gujarat investors summit, emphasizing the importance of economic cooperation.
Prime Minister Modi has made six visits to the UAE since 2014, culminating in the most recent one in December for the Dubai climate change summit. These visits have been pivotal in elevating bilateral ties, resulting in India-UAE trade reaching a noteworthy US$ 73 billion. India’s exports to the UAE have surged, making it the second-largest export destination after the United States, with transactions exceeding US$ 28 billion for the year 2021-22. The signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2022 further solidifies economic collaboration between the two nations.
The UAE’s significant investments in India, totaling around US$ 20-21 billion, with US$ 15.18 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), position it as the 7th largest investor in India in terms of FDI, underscoring confidence in India’s economic potential.