At a mega gathering of the Indian diaspora at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the deep-rooted friendship between India and the UAE. Addressing the enthusiastic crowd at the ‘Ahlan Modi’ event, PM Modi expressed profound gratitude towards the attendees hailing from various parts of the UAE and different states of India.
“You have scripted history by coming in such large numbers here. You may have come from different parts of UAE and from different states of India, but everyone’s hearts are connected,” Modi said at the event that began with national anthems of the two countries.
“This is the time to hail the friendship between India and the UAE. In this historic stadium, every heartbeat echoes the same sentiment- Long live Bharat-UAE friendship,” he added.
The fervour of the occasion was palpable as chants of “Modi-Modi” resonated through the stadium, symbolizing the shared reverence and admiration for the Indian Prime Minister among the attendees.
“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,” he told the diaspora.
The UAE is home to about 3.5 million Indian nationals — the largest expatriate community in the Gulf country.
Prime Minister Modi also took a moment to reflect on his inaugural visit to the UAE in 2015, recalling the warmth and camaraderie extended to him by the Emirati leadership.
Reminiscing on his first official visit to the UAE, PM Modi shared, “I remember my first visit in 2015 when it had been only some time since I came to the Centre. It was the first visit of an Indian PM to the UAE, after three decades. The world of diplomacy was new to me.”
PM Modi recounted the gracious welcome extended to him by the then Crown Prince, who is now the President, along with his five brothers.
“That warmth, the shine in their eyes – I can never forget that,” he said, evoking memories of the heartfelt reception.
Ahead of PM Modi’s speech, India’s national anthem echoed through the arena.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Modi started a visit to the United Arab Emirates to inaugurate the Middle East’s largest Hindu temple and boost investment and trade links.
“In 2015, when I presented to him (Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed) the proposal to build a temple in Abu Dhabi on behalf of all of you, he immediately said yes to it…now the time has come to inaugurate this grand (BAPS) temple,” he said at the event.