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Modi leaves for UAE on Sunday

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday.

modiDuring the visit, Modi, who will be the first Indian prime minister to visit the UAE after Indira Gandhi in 1981, will seek to boost cooperation in energy, trade, people-to-people ties, and more investments in India.

Terrorism will also be high on the talks agenda.

The prime minister will reach Abu Dhabi on August 16 and go to Dubai the next day.

On the first day, Modi will hold official talks with the leadership of Abu Dhabi and later visit Masdar City, a city project in Abu Dhabi where he is expected to spend time watching presentations, the external affairs ministry said.

Later, he will meet business people and focus on investments.

The following day, he will first visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and then travel to Dubai where, after meeting Dubai’s ruler, he will attend a grand public reception hosted for him at the Dubai Cricket Grounds.

Ahead of the visit, Modi on Thursday said in a statement that the UAE was a valued partner and the extent of bilateral ties indicate the vibrant relations the nations enjoy.

“India is the UAE’s second largest trading partner and the UAE is India’s third largest trade partner,” he said.

Modi said the over 2.5 million Indians who have made the UAE their home “contributed immensely to the progress of the UAE and also gave back to India at every occasion.

“India and the UAE are fantastically connected, be it via air or through the sea.”

He also praised the economic progress made by the UAE.

Modi said that during his visit, he will seek to enhance cooperation in energy and trade and talk to investors on why India was an attractive destination to invest.

“I am certain my visit will boost people-to-people ties between our nations. I specially look forward to meeting the large community of Indian workers based in the UAE,” he said.

(IANS)

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First Hindu Temple Lays Foundation Stone in Abu Dhabi

The temple will be built in phases with all the pink stones and marble being transported from Rajasthan to the UAE capital, the Khaleej Times said

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abu dhabi, hindu temple
The temple is being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Indian community. Wikimedia

The historic foundation stone-laying ceremony of the first traditional Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi was performed on Saturday in the presence of officials from India and the United Arab Emirates as well as thousands of members of the community.

The ceremony was presided over by Mahant Swami Maharaj — the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha — the organisation building the temple, along with other priests. Indian Ambassador Navdeep Suri attended the event in the presence of over 2,500 Indians from the UAE and across the world, according to Gulf News.

Suri and BAPS Hindu Mandir committee head and community leader B.R. Shetty were among those who laid foundation stones. Some 50 priests from India were part of the ceremony, the Khaleej Times reported.

Crown Prince, abu dhabi, hindu temple
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Wikimedia

UAE’s Minister of Climate Change Thani Al Zoyoudi and Ahmad Bilhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Sciences, were among the attendees.  The temple will be built in phases with all the pink stones and marble being transported from Rajasthan to the UAE capital, the Khaleej Times said.

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The stones of the temple will be hand-carved by artisans in India and then transported to Abu Dhabi. Once completed, this will be the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East.

The temple is being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Indian community. (IANS)