New Delhi: A visit to the Sheikh Zayed grand mosque in Abu Dhabi is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to UAE from Saturday during which he seeks to enhance cooperation in energy and trade and reach out to investors there to promote India as an attractive business destination.
Describing United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a "valued partner", he said the extent of the ties indicates the vibrant bilateral relations India being UAE's second largest trading partner and UAE third largest trade partner for the country.
Lauding the immense contribution made by over 2.5 million Indians who have made UAE their home, Modi said he was looking forward to meeting the large community of Indian workers based in UAE. They remit more than USD 13 billion annually.
Narendra Modi. Pic/ PTI
Noting that it was the first Prime Ministerial visit in 34 years, Modi said he was certain it will boost people-to- people ties between the two nations. "The economic strides taken by UAE are extremely admirable. UAE is a global economic success story that has attracted people from all over the world.
UAE has also emerged as an important logistics hub... During my visit, I seek to enhance cooperation in energy, trade and will talk to investors on why India is an attractive destination to invest," he said. During his overnight visit, Modi will first travel to Abu Dhabi and then to Dubai on August 17.
Apart from holding talks with the leadership there, the Prime Minister will address huge Indian gathering in Dubai Cricket Ground, on the lines of the event held in Madison Square Garden in New York last year.
"I will hold extensive talks with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, whose enlightened vision and farsightedness has taken UAE to new heights of development.
I will meet His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE," Modi said. In Abu Dhabi, he will visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a key place of worship in UAE and known as a masterpiece of Islamic architecture which can accommodate around 40,000 people.
The mosque was constructed from 1996 to 2007. "One of the places that I will visit in UAE is the Masdar City, a zero carbon city, which is an effort towards creating a cleaner and greener tomorrow," he added. He also noted that India and UAE are fantastically connected be it via air or through the sea.
Later, Official Spokesperson in External Affairs Ministry said UAE, with a sovereign wealth fund of more than USD 800 billion, was very important from investment point of view and India would like to impress them to invest in infrastructure sector.
Security is another major area of cooperation between India and UAE which have treaties and agreements on extradition, mutual legal assistance in criminal and civil matters, combating trafficking in narcotics and information cooperation apart from maritime interaction.