Dubai: Congress President Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to visit the UAE on January 9, party sources said on Saturday.
Gandhi will visit the UAE after attending a function in Bahrain on January 8, said a senior member of INCAS UAE, an Indian community group in the UAE with political allegiance to Indian National Congress, the principal opposition party in their country.
Punnakkan Mohammad Ali, general secretary of INCAS UAE committee, told Gulf News that Gandhi will visit the UAE after attending the Biennial International Convention of GOPIO (Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin, a global networking platform for Indian businessmen,) in Bahrain.
This will be his first visit abroad after Gandhi took charge as the president of the 132-year-old Congress party, succeeding his mother Sonia Gandhi, who led the party for the last 19 years.
“We are very happy that he is visiting the GCC and has decided to come to the UAE,” said Ali.
He said the loyal party followers among the Indian expats are thrilled to hear the news.
“They will be more than delighted to get a chance to meet him. We have requested for that and we are working on arranging a public meeting,” said Ali.
He said a few members of the All India Congress Committee had already visited the UAE to inspect the venues suggested by the Congress workers here.
“There were three venues in Dubai in consideration. Mostly, the meeting will be held at the [Dubai World] Trade Centre, considering the weather conditions and the fact that it is a working day.”
Ali said Gandhi is also scheduled to meet the UAE leaders during his first visit here.
AICC members are expected to visit the UAE again on December 26 and more details about Rahul’s itinerary will be divulged then.
Cambridge educated Gandhi, 47 is a member of the Indian parliament as well as a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs.
His visit to the GCC as the leader of the party gathers much political significance at a time he has instilled new hopes in the party after the recent election in Gujarat, the home state of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.