Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on his two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which will see the leaders of both nations ink several pacts to shore up cooperation in several key areas, including ports, logistics, energy security, energy trade and digital domain.
The Prime Minister will also inaugurate Abu Dhabi's first traditional Hindu temple, Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Mandir which sits on 27 acres of land generously gifted by the UAE leadership. He will also attend the event Ahlan Modi' (Hello Modi in Arabic) where he will address the Indian diaspora of the UAE.
The Prime Minister will also attend the World Governments Summit, an annual event held in Dubai, which began on Sunday. He will then hold a bilateral meeting with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Tuesday.
Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, addressing a press conference, said both sides are looking at firming up understandings in areas of ports, logistics, energy security, energy trade and digital domain, among others. "We are also looking to see if we can arrive at an understanding on investments in the field of digital infrastructure, arrangements for the protection and promotion of capital flows," he said.
Kwatra said there may be some understanding for cooperation in the domains of ports and the maritime sphere. "Since the digital cooperation between our two economies is an important element of the partnership, we are also looking to see if we can arrive at an understanding on investments in the field of digital infrastructure," he said.
The countries are also examining possible cooperation in the areas of maritime heritage as well as on fintech products and railways. "Currently the two sides are busy discussing various agreements that could be finalised during the visit," Kwatra said.
Modi will travel to Doha, the capital of Qatar, on Wednesday after concluding his two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates. His Doha visit assumes significance in the wake of the release of eight former Naval officers who were detained in Qatar over spying charges.
Meanwhile, the event Ahlan Modi' had to be scaled down after heavy rains and flashes of lightning were reported across the UAE overnight, causing traffic snarls and waterlogging. Community leader Sajeev Purushothaman told PTI that preparations for one of the biggest diaspora events of Prime Minister Modi ever at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi were going fine but the participation was reduced from 80,000 to 35,000 because of the weather.
It was earlier reported that 60,000 people had already confirmed, via a website set up to register attendees, to attend the event to be attended by only Indian-origin persons.