Abu Dhabi: Before he heads to Dubai for a mega meeting with 50,000 members of the Indian community this evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi toured Masdar in Abu Dhabi, a zero-carbon smart city.
The highlight of the PM's tour was a demo ride in a self-driving car, part of Masdar city's Private Rapid Transit or PRT. The car runs on lithium batteries powered by solar energy and uses a virtual software to guide its journey.
An enthusiastic crowd of Indians gathered in Masdar to watch the PM's ride; PM Modi was seen waving at the crowd.
PM Modi discussed urban development and next generation urban spaces at Madsar, his office tweeted. He is also met the architects of the city.
Masdar is the world's first zero-carbon, car-free city, and PM Modi is expected to gather ideas for his initiative in India to build smart modern cities.
"Science is life," PM Modi wrote in a digital visitor's book at Masdar City, where he also held a meeting with potential investors.
Boosting trade with the oil-rich state is a key focus of PM Modi's two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates or UAE. Trade with UAE is valued at around USD 60 billion, making it India's third largest trading partner for the year 2014-15 after China and the US.
PM Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the UAE in 34 years. After his talks with business delegations PM Modi will have lunch with the ruler of Abu Dhabi.
This evening, the Prime Minister will address about 50,000 members of the Indian community in Dubai at a cricket stadium that seats 40,000. Screens have been put up outside for those who do not gain entrance.
About 2.6 million Indians live and work in the UAE, according to Indian embassy figures. The embassy estimates about 60 per cent of those are blue-collar workers.