ABU DHABI, 25th August, 2019 (WAM) — The UAE and India enjoy strong and cordial relations across multiple fronts, backed by top-level political and people-to-people interactions, said Gulf Today in an editorial on Sunday.
“The age-old relationship, underpinned by cultural, religious and economic linkages, was elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to the UAE.
“Modi’s latest and third state visit to the UAE is bound to further strengthen the bonds between the two mighty nations,” it added.
It continued, “The Indian government has already stated that the UAE’s highest civil decoration, the Order of Zayed, for Modi is of special significance as it is being awarded in the Year of Tolerance.
“Modi himself tweeted after receiving the honour, “Humbled to be conferred the ‘Order of Zayed’ a short while ago. More than an individual, this award is for India’s cultural ethos and is dedicated to 130 crore Indians. I thank the UAE Government for this honour.”
“Another Twitter message by Modi highlights the closeness of the leaders and the people of the UAE and India. The Indian premier noted: “Had an excellent meeting with His Highness Crown Prince @MohamedBinZayed. We spoke about multiple subjects, including ways to improve trade and people-to-people relations between India and UAE. His personal commitment to strong bilateral relations is very strong.”
“Modi had earlier mentioned that India finds a partner in the UAE to achieve its ambitious dream of achieving a US$5 trillion economy and that the UAE-India relations are at their best ever, with the UAE investments in key sectors in India growing.
“With robust flow of investments and an annual bilateral trade of about $60 billion, the UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner. Also, the UAE is the fourth largest exporter of crude oil for India.”
The paper went on to note that a 3.3 million-strong vibrant Indian community in the UAE nourishes the vibrant people-to-people contacts between our two friendly countries.
“Recently, India took a major step in easing travel formalities for Emirati citizens by introducing multiple entry visas for the UAE.
“The introduction of the five-year multiple entry Tourist and Business visas for UAE citizens is aimed at further strengthening trade and investment and people-to-people links between the two countries.
“What is significant to note is that the UAE has become the first country in the Middle East to witness the launch of RuPay card, an Indian indigenous equivalent of Mastercard or Visa.
“Around 175,000 merchant acceptance locations of 21 businesses and 5,000 ATMs in the UAE will soon start accepting India’s RuPay card.
“Three prominent banks Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Bank of Baroda will soon start issuing RuPay card in the UAE, as per Navdeep Singh Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE.
“The MoU will enable the RuPay card to be used at point-of-sale terminals across the UAE. Individual businesses are expected to announce the start date of accepting the card in their outlets.
“The UAE receives close to three million Indian tourists annually, who can use the RuPay card in the UAE.”
A commemorative stamp of Mahatma Gandhi released on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary during the Indian Prime Minister’s visit is another special gesture by the UAE Government, the editorial added.
“A Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry analysis has identified printed books, natural pearls, preparations of cereals, carpets and textiles as high-potential products that can be exported from the UAE to India in the future.”
“Sincere friendship and active cooperation between two nations can help people reap huge benefits in the form of peace, progress and prosperity. On this, the UAE-India ties offer a glorious example,” the Sharjah-based paper said in conclusion.