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‘Ghoomar’, ‘Padharo mhaare des’: How the Indian diaspora in UAE plans to welcome PM Modi | WATCH

Image Source : ANI Indian diaspora performers prepare to welcome PM Modi in the UAE.

Abu Dhabi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday emplaned for his two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates, where he will inaugurate the country’s first Hindu temple ‘BAPS Mandir’ in Abu Dhabi and address the Indian diaspora and UAE’s top leadership as one of India’s closest strategic partner in the Middle East. Before his arrival, the Indian diaspora in the UAE has planned a set of traditional welcoming performances for the Indian PM.

As PM Modi is on his way to attend the ‘Ahlan Modi’ event, some women of the Indian diaspora were seen rehearsing songs like ‘Ghoomar’ and ‘Padharo Mhare Des’ to welcome the Indian leader there. “It’s a matter of devotion for us that a temple is being inaugurated here. Modi ji is coming here today. It is like our dreams have come true today,” says Rashmi Bhansali, a member of the Indian diaspora in Abu Dhabi.

Additionally, some women dressed in traditional Maharashtrian sarees are preparing to perform the ‘Lezim’ folk dance at the ‘Ahlan Modi’ programme on Tuesday.

PM Modi is expected to arrive in the UAE by 4 pm. Notably, the Ministry of External Affairs, in its special briefing on Monday, marked the visit as crucial amid the fact the Prime Minister will meet Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ) whom he met in December last year during his visit to Gujarat. During his visit, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said the two sides are likely to ink a number of agreements to shore up cooperation in several key areas following a bilateral meeting with the UAE leader. 

Ved Prakash Gupta, a member of the Indian diaspora and a volunteer at the ‘Ahlan Modi’ event, expressed enthusiasm for the upcoming spectacle. “…This is a major milestone in India-UAE relations…We are a team of 1500 people who are working in different departments…It rained heavily yesterday but the weather is clear today…Everyone is eagerly waiting for PM Modi…It is a proud moment for Indians,” he added.

Gupta highlighted the collective effort of 1500 individuals working across various departments to ensure the event’s success, underscoring the unwavering commitment of the Indian community in fostering stronger ties with the UAE. Despite adverse weather conditions, with heavy rain preceding the event, Gupta affirmed that the skies had cleared, setting the stage for a momentous occasion.

“Over the last nine years, our cooperation with UAE in diverse sectors such as trade and investment, defence and security, food and energy security and education has grown manifold. Our cultural and people-to-people connection is stronger than ever. I look forward to meeting His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of UAE, in Abu Dhabi and holding wide-ranging discussions on taking forward our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. I had the privilege of hosting His Highness recently in Gujarat, where he was the Chief Guest at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024,” Prime Minister Modi said minutes before his departure.

Top agenda of the visit

According to the External Affairs Ministry, India and the UAE are looking forward to strengthening digital cooperation in the field of infrastructure, while also boosting collaboration in the areas of maritime heritage as well as on fintech products and railways. PM Modi will also meet with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president, prime minister and defence minister of the UAE.

At his invitation, the prime minister will participate in the World Government Summit 2024 on Wednesday in Dubai as the guest of honour and deliver a special keynote address at the summit. Modi will also inaugurate the BAPS Mandir, the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi. The prime minister is scheduled to address the Indian community in the UAE at an event in Zayed Sports City.

Following the landmark visit of Modi to the UAE in August 2015, bilateral relations between the two countries were elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Both countries signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in February 2022 and a Local Currency Settlement (LCS) System in July 2023 to promote the use of Indian Rupee and AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham) for cross-border transactions.

(with inputs from ANI)

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