India’s PM Narendra Modi arrives in UAE on seventh trip to nation
Modi was met on landing in Abu Dhabi by Emirati President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a man he has called his brother while working to bolster ties between the Arabian Peninsula nation that is home to millions of Indians. The two leaders walked past an honour guard before sitting down for their meeting, which saw bilateral agreements signed between the nations.
“Over the last nine years, our cooperation with the UAE in diverse sectors such as trade and investment, defence and security, food and energy security and education has grown manifold,” a statement from Modi’s office read. “Our cultural and people-to-people connect is stronger than ever.”
The UAE offered no immediate readout on the trip or what the two men discussed.
On Tuesday night, tens of thousands of Indians are expected to crowd into Zayed Sports City Stadium to see Modi. Only Indian nationals were being permitted to attend the event in Abu Dhabi, organisers said.
The protests could pose a significant challenge for Modi and his governing Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the coming elections in India, the world’s largest democracy. However, Modi is widely expected to win a third term.
Modi’s visit highlights the nations’ long-standing economic and historic ties, from spice selling and gold smuggling in the UAE’s formative years to tens of billions of dollars’ worth of annual bilateral trade today.
The countries signed a free trade deal in 2022 aimed at doubling their bilateral trade to US$100 billion. India remains a key buyer of Emirati oil, while the UAE hopes to boost its local industries. The countries have agreed to allow India to settle some payments in rupees as opposed to dollars, lowering transaction costs.
The relationship also underscores the