Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday in a bid to boost economic and trade ties between the two nations.
Modi, who is the first Indian PM to visit the UAE in 34 years, aims to strengthen bilateral links and increase investment from the Emirates.
During his trip he will be meeting with the UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He will also meet with Indian businessmen and visit Masdar City in Abu Dhabi.
Ahead of his visit, Modi said: “The economic strides taken by the UAE are extremely admirable. The UAE is a global economic success story that has attracted people from all over the world. The UAE has also emerged as an important logistics hub.
“The UAE and India’s strong partnership goes back several years. Both are multicultural societies that respect and celebrate plurality and diversity.”
He added: “The UAE is a valued partner and the extent of our ties indicate the vibrant relations India and UAE enjoy.”
The UAE is an important investor for India. According to figures revealed by India’s External Affairs Ministry, the country received $3bn in FDI from the UAE last year. In turn, India was also one of the top countries for FDI in Dubai in 2014.
Indians are also the biggest group of investors in Dubai’s real estate having invested Dhs 7.8bn in the emirate’s property sector in the first half of 2015.
Estimates suggest that trade between India and the UAE reached $60bn in 2014, making the UAE the third largest trading partner of India after China and the US.
Modi, whose Bharatiya Janata Party won a landslide victory in India last year, has been touring nations across the world to enhance economic ties and improve bilateral relations. He recently visited the United States, Australia and Japan – successfully negotiating foreign direct investment deals with the governments in those countries.