Narendra Modi visited to the UAE in August 2015, the first ever an Indian Prime Minister in 34 years . There was mix reaction from all quarters , some took it completely negatively and other took it as a start of new era of India in Gulf. After the announcement in October 2016 that His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, will be the chief guest on Indian Republic Day on January 26, 2017, many thing was obvious . First step towards walking together in that era and strengthening the UAE and India has started. Remember there is hidden political message while selecting the chief guest for Republic Day . Earlier sultan of Oman was invited as guest in 2006 on Republic Day but he opted out on health grounds.
The Gulf region is home to more than seven million Indians. During 2015-16, India’s exports to GCC (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar) countries were US $ 41.71 billion.Besides, The UAE has been a willing partner for India’s counter-terrorism efforts. During Modi’s visit in August 2015, the joint statement mentioned terrorism 11 times, which New Delhi hopes will send a signal to Pakistan.
The UAE has responded positively to India’s quest to get investment from the region for modernizing India’s infrastructure. It has already said it would invest $75 billion in long term for the same. The UAE is not as much affected as some of its GCC counterparts by the economic slowdown. And a high level visits from the region always helped in boosting the ties manifold. Indian prime ministers — both Modi and Manmohan Singh — broke away from the protocol when visitors from the region come calling. Singh went to airport to receive the Saudi king in 2006. Modi did the same for the crown prince of Abu Dhabi when he came to India early this year. The only other leader who was received by these two PMs in similar fashion was the president of the United States. That tells a story in itself.
The UAE and India signed 14 pacts, including defense and energy, as part of groundwork for a strategic partnership between the two countries. The pacts were signed following a meeting between Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday. Main aim of this 14 pacts is following :
- Establishing cooperation in defense manufacturing and technology, research, innovation, and cooperation between public and private sector institutions of the two countries.
- Collaboration in armaments, defense industries and transfer of technology.
- There is target of $75 billion investments in India’s plans for rapid expansion of next generation infrastructure development by UAE
- The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd. (ISPRL), agreed to establish a strategic crude oil storage in the southern Indian city of Mangalore.
- ADNOC will store about 6 million barrels of oil at Mangalore, taking up about half of the site’s capacity
- The agreement with ISPRL, an Indian government-owned company mandated to store crude oil for emergency needs, covers the storage of 5.86 million barrels of ADNOC crude oil in underground facilities, at the Karnataka facility.
- This partnership will create opportunities for ADNOC to increase its market share in delivering high quality crude to India’s expanding refining industry, while also helping India meet its growing energy demand and safeguard its security.