Abu Dhabi, UAE:
PM Modi met the UAE president in Abu Dhabi last year
The ties between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are a lot about the "personal bond" between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE's ruler and president Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Indian ambassador to the Gulf country Sunjay Sudhir told NDTV.
Mr Sudhir spoke to NDTV in an exclusive interview a day before Prime Minister Modi lands in the UAE for a two-day trip. He is scheduled to address the Indian diaspora at an event in Abu Dhabi tomorrow. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister will inaugurate the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, the first traditional Hindu stone temple in West Asia.
"India-UAE ties are a lot about the personal bond between Prime Minister Modi and Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan," Mr Sudhir said.
Underlining the excitement in the UAE over the Prime Minister's visit, the ambassador said 65,000 people had registered for the 'Ahlan Modi' event.
The Abu Dhabi government, he said, had gifted land for the grand temple that is being built by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. "The temple will stand as a symbol of cultural ties between India and UAE," Mr Sudhir said.
Elaborating on the bilateral ties, he said the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement of 2022 has redefined the economic relationship between Indian and UAE. Asked about the ambitious India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor, the envoy said significant movements are taking place in that direction.
Prime Minister Modi had earlier met the UAE president when he visited Abu Dhabi in July last year.
Prime Minister Modi was in 2019 honoured with the 'Order of Zayed', the UAE's highest civilian award, for his efforts to boost ties between the two nations.