Indian premier visits UAE to boost ties

Indian premier visits UAE to boost ties
2 min read
17 August, 2015
Narendra Modi started a two-day visit to the UAE on Sunday aimed at boosting relations between the two countries that enjoy a centuries-old relationship.
Modi is the first Indian prime minister to visit the UAE since 1981 [Getty]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the UAE on Sunday 16 August for a two-day visit to boost relations between the two countries and strengthen economic ties.

Modi is the first Indian prime minister to travel to the Emirates in 34 years since Indira Ghandhi in 1981.

"I am very optimistic about this visit. I am confident the outcomes of the visit will boost India-UAE ties," Modi tweeted on Sunday.

During his visit the prime minister will meet His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

Addressing a group of investors at Masdar City near Abu Dhabi, Modi said India has an immediate investment opportunity of USD 1 trillion and that his government will take urgent steps to address concerns of the businessmen from UAE and erase "deficit of 34 years," reported the Indian news agency PTI.

     The visit marks a centuries-old relationship between India and the UAE.

On Sunday, Modi visited Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, met Indian workers at a labour camp and attended a dinner hosted by Hamed bin Zayed, the chief executive of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Later today he is expected at a public event at the Dubai Cricket Stadium due to be attended by 50,000 Indians, before returning to India.

The visit marks a centuries-old relationship between India and the UAE. 

India is the UAE's second-largest trading partner and the UAE is India's third largest trading partner after China and the United States. Bilateral trade between the UAE and India is valued at around $60 billion.

The UAE is also home to about 2.6 million Indian expatriates who make up about a third of the total population, and are greater than the native population. Annual Indian remittances from the UAE are estimated at $14 billion.

Modi is also expected to hold discussions with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and top business leaders to try and attract billions of dollars for India's 'Make in India' project launched last year after he became prime minister.

He is also expected to discuss issues related to security and terrorism as the regional threat of the Islamic State group grows.

After meeting business investors on Monday Modi tweeted: