Indian PM Narendra Modi may visit UAE in August
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Dubai - Modi is likely to visit Abu Dhabi on August 16 and head to Dubai the next day, sources told Khaleej Times.
Dubai - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit the UAE on August 16 and 17.
If it materializes, Modi will become the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the UAE in 34 years. The last visit - by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi - was in 1981.
An official announcement confirming the visit's details is expected within days from New Delhi.
Modi is likely to visit Abu Dhabi on August 16 and head to Dubai the next day, sources told Khaleej Times.
"Preparations have started to organize a public meeting at Dubai Cricket Stadium on August 17th night," said one source.
A meeting of officials concerned in this regard is scheduled to be held at the Indian Consulate in Dubai this evening.
The plan is to accommodate some 40,000 members of the nearly 2.6million strong Indian community in the UAE in the public meeting. The modalities of how they can be admitted to the stadium will be worked out during the meeting, said sources.
The Indian expats in the UAE have been expecting a visit by an Indian PM for several years. Modi's predecessor Manmohan Singh twice made plans to visit the UAE but the plans did not materialize.
In March 2010, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum paid his second visit to India. Subsequently, his Indian counterpart Singh was expected to visit the UAE in late 2010.
However, it was the then Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil who paid a five-day state visit to the UAE in November 2010.
Speculations about Modi's visit to the UAE have been rife ever since he assumed office in 2014. The Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj's visit to the UAE in November 2014 was even presumed to be an effort to make grounds for Modi's visit this year.
A report from India said that ever since India announced that Modi will become the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel, officials have been discussing possible visits to the Gulf nations ahead of the Tel Aviv trip as a balancing act.
The expected visit assumes great significance in the bilateral relations economic, cultural and social ties that exist between the UAE and India.