India-UAE Bilateral Relations
1. India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) established diplomatic relations in 1972. While the UAE opened its Embassy in India in 1972, Indian Embassy in UAE was opened in 1973.
2. The traditionally strong bilateral relations enjoyed by India-UAE have received impetus with exchange of high-level bilateral visits from time to time. The visit of Prime Minister of India to UAE on 16-17 August 2015 marked the beginning of a new Comprehensive and Strategic partnership between the two countries. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, visited India from February 10-12, 2016.
3. Crown Prince visited India for the second time from 24-26 January, 2017 as the Chief Guest at India’s Republic day celebrations. It was during this visit that the bilateral relations were upgraded to ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’. During the visit, two sides also signed MoUs on strengthening cooperation in cyber space, defense, maritime/road transport, SME, agriculture, manpower, human trafficking, entry visa exemption for diplomatic, special and official passport holders, media, energy, etc.
4. The second State visit of the Prime Minister to UAE from 10-11 February, 2018 further energized the bilateral relations. During his visit, PM Modi also delivered the key note address on the theme - "Technology for Development”- at the sixth World Government Summit in Dubai, where India was invited as the Guest of Honor, in addition to holding bilateral meetings with Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE. On the side-lines of the World Government Summit, Prime Minister Modi also met with a select group of senior CEOs and Business Leaders from GCC. He also addressed Indian community at Dubai Opera House, and unveiled a model of the first Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi. The signing of the following MoUs / Agreements was the highlight of the visit:
5. The momentum generated by PM’s visits was sustained by back to back reciprocal visits at the level of Foreign Ministers. During the period 2014- 2019, External Affairs Minister of India visited the UAE thrice. Her first visit took place in November 2014. She subsequently visited Abu Dhabi in December 2018 to participate at the 12th Joint Commission Meeting (JCM). Her third visit took place in March 2019 when she attended the 'Organization of Islamic Nations’ (OIC) meeting where India was invited as ‘Guest of Honor’ country by the UAE despite an objection from OIC member, Pakistan. EAM Sushma Swaraj addressed the inaugural session of the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on 1st March 2019, in Abu Dhabi. The UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah also visited India twice in June 2018 and as recently as from 7th - 9th July, 2019 and met EAM and called on PM.
6. Prime Minister Modi paid his third and the most recent visit to the UAE from August 23-24,2019. During the visit, PM Modi was conferred with the UAE's highest award, the 'Order of Zayed’. The President of the UAE had announced the award of 'Order of Zayed' medal to PM Modi in recognition of his efforts in promoting bilateral ties. Other highlights of the PM's visit were the official launch of ‘RuPay Card’ in UAE, and release of the stamps commemorating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. UAE is the first country in the Gulf region where Indian RuPay card has been officially launched. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a number of telecon between PM Modi and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, most recent on 3 September 2021 where they reviewed the bilateral relationship and ways to further strengthen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and the UAE.
7. The other recent developments have been the India’s participation at Dubai EXPO2020. The India Pavilion at the EXPO was inaugurated by Minister of Textiles, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Shri Piyush Goyal on 1 October 2021 in presence of UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi. India also participated in the IDEX and NAVDEX 2021 exhibitions in Abu Dhabi and the Dubai Air Show 2021 in Dubai. A delegation led by Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri visited UAE in November 2021 to attend the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) 2021 in Abu Dhabi. On 22 September 2021, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi jointly launched with Minister of Textiles, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Shri Piyush Goyal the negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and the UAE.
8. Parliamentary Cooperation: An Indian Parliamentary delegation led by Honorable Member of Parliament Shri BhartruhariMehtab for the Asian Parliamentary Assembly Standing Committee Meeting in Abu Dhabi in May 2017 met Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council (FNC). During the meeting, Indian delegation invited the Speaker of FNC to visit India. A Parliamentary delegation by Speaker of Lok Sabha Shri Om Birla met with Saqr Ghobash, Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC) on 9 September 2021 in Vienna on the sidelines of the Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament.
9. Institutional Mechanism: India and UAE have following institutional mechanisms in place for addressing sector-specific issues.