ABU DHABI: Prime Minister Modi held bilateral talks with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan shortly after arriving in Abu Dhabi on Monday where he was given a rousing welcome. PM Modi also thanked the UAE President for his support in the construction of the BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi. “I thank you for the warm welcome. Whenever I come here to meet you, I always feel I have come to meet my family. We’ve met 5 times in the last 7 months, it’s very rare and reflects our close relationship…”
#WATCH | Abu Dhabi: During his meeting with UAE President, PM Narendra Modi says, “The construction of BAPS (Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha) temple here would not have been possible without your support…”
“The construction of BAPS (Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha) temple here would not have been possible without your support…” the PM told the UAE President during his meeting with the latter. Importantly, PM Modi and UAE President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan also introduced the UPI RuPay card service in Abu Dhabi.
Upon his arrival here, PM Modi was welcomed by UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The two leaders shook hands and hugged each other. Prime Minister Modi also received a Guard of Honour.
PM Modi also took to X to express his gratitude to the UAE President for coming to the airport to personally receive him. “I am very grateful to my brother, His Highness UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for taking the time to receive me at Abu Dhabi Airport,” Prime Minister Modi posted on X. “I look forward to a fruitful visit that will strengthen the friendship between India and the UAE,” he said.
أنا ممتن للغاية لأخي صاحب السمو @MohamedBinZayed، على الوقت الذي أمضيه في استقبالي في مطار أبو ظبي.
PM Modi is set to address the Indian diaspora at “Ahlan Modi” event. He will also inaugurate the BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. The Indian diaspora in the UAE has been eagerly waiting for PM Modi, as the number of attendees surpassed 65,000 for the Ahlan Modi event.
The Indian expatriate community of approximately 3.5 million is the largest ethnic community in the UAE, constituting roughly 35 per cent of the country’s population. President of the Indian People Forum and leader of the Ahlan Modi initiative, Jitendra Vaidya, expressed his happiness and anticipation for the ground-breaking event.
“Our gates are yet to open, but people are already standing at each gate of this stadium. I can say this with guarantee that whenever people will remember a public event of PM Modi outside the country, ‘Ahlan Modi’ will be remembered as a landmark event,” he said.
He further added that the programmes will start here around 12 noon (local time),a dding that, “Over 800 participants will perform here today. When we were planning the ‘Ahlan Modi’ event, we thought of bringing celebrities here but when PM Modi got to know this he said, your people are celebrities.”
Ved Prakash Gupta, a member of the Indian diaspora and a volunteer at the ‘Ahlan Modi’ event, emphasised that this is a major milestone in India-UAE relations. “…This is a major milestone in India-UAE relations…We are a team of 1500 people who are working in different departments…It rained heavily yesterday but the weather is clear today…Everyone is eagerly waiting for PM Modi…It is a proud moment for Indians…,” he said.
Ahead of his departure, the Prime Minister took to social media platform X to post that he is looking forward to meeting with his “brother,” the President of UAE, with whom he shares a good rapport.
This visit also marks the third by the PM to the Gulf country in the past eight months, as per a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs Minister.
“My discussions with Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid on the margins of Summit will focus on strengthening our multifaceted ties with Dubai,” the Prime Minister said in a statement ahead of his departure.
He will also inaugurate the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. “The BAPS temple will be an enduring tribute to the values of harmony, peace and tolerance, which both India and the UAE share,” the PM said.
The ‘Ahlan Modi’ or ‘Hello Modi’ event, organised by the Indian community in Abu Dhabi, has gathered unprecedented attention, with over 65,000 registrations received, reflecting the overwhelming response from the Indian expatriate community. PM Modi will be in the UAE from February 13-14, after which he will proceed to Doha.