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Indian prime minister Modi wraps up Oman visit after visiting Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Live reports and exclusive stories into Narenda Modi's visit to the Middle East

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.Image Credit: O.K. Mohd Ali
  • Shiva temple, also known as Motishwar Mandir in Muscat, one of the oldest in the GulfImage Credit: Nickyta Ray/Gulf News
  • PM Modi meets with Oman's deputy PM Sayeed Asa'ad Bin Tariq Al Saeed.Image Credit: India's Ministry of External Affairs
  • Modi at the India-Oman business meet in progressImage Credit: India's Ministry of External Affairs
  • Image Credit: Oman Royal Airport
  • Image Credit: Twitter
  • Image Credit: Gulf News
  • Image Credit: Gulf News
  • Image Credit: GN
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the Wahat Al Karama in Abu Dhabi on February 11, 2018.Image Credit: Raveesh Kumar/Twitter
  • Crowd gathers at Dubai Opera on February 11, 2018 ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit.Image Credit: Suchitra Chaudhary/Gulf News
  • Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed greets Indian PM Narendra Modi, who arrived in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.Image Credit: Twitter
  • Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed and Indian Prime Minister Modi witness the signing of an agreement.Image Credit: Twitter
  • The Indian premier arrives in Abu Dhabi on his second state visit to the UAE. Image Credit: Twitter
  • The Adnoc building in Abu Dhabi.Image Credit: Twitter
  • Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed and PM Modi in Abu Dhabi: The visit is seen as a big boost to UAE-India ties.Image Credit: Twitter
  • Image Credit: Twitter

Gulf News journalists bring you live reports and exclusive stories into Narenda Modi's visit to the Middle East. Follow our coverage here.


Prime Minister Modi wraps up Oman visit after visiting the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. He flies out of Oman, ending the four-nation Middle East visit. 

Modi arrives at Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

Temple visit

Modi offers prayers at Shiva temple in Muscat also known as Motishwar Mandir, which was constructed 109 years back by a merchant community from Gujarat.

A tribute

“On our weekly visit to Shiva temple in Muscat, I found this leaf. On our way back, there was a news on radio of our Indian Hon. Prime Minister visit to Oman and I thought of painting this great personality on the leaf as a tribute to Prime Minister Modi who is dedicatedly working towards New India who is also a “Shiv Bhakt”. It would be my great honor if I may get a chance to present to him this painting," says Aparna Shere, an artist living in Muscat.

Aparna Shere, an artist from Muscat painted this in honour of PM Modi

Agreements signed

India and Oman have signed eight agreements, including on cooperation in the field of defence, health and tourism, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with the Sultan of the country.

Modi, who arrived in Muscat from Dubai on the last leg of his three-nation tour, led delegation-level talks on Sunday with Sultan Qaboos Bin Said.

"Charting out new frontiers in our bilateral relationship, PM @narendramodi led delegation-level talks with Sultan Qaboos of Oman. The two strategic partners discussed to strengthen cooperation in trade & investment, energy, defence & security, food security and regional issues," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Sultan Qaboos appreciated the contribution of "honest and hard working" Indian nationals in the development of Oman.

After their talks, the two sides signed eight agreements, including an MoU on legal and judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters.

They also signed an agreement on mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, special, service and official passports and an MoU on cooperation in the field of health, tourism and peaceful uses of outer space.

The two countries also signed an agreement on cooperation between Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs, India and Oman's Diplomatic Institute.

An MoU on academic and scholarly cooperation between National Defence College, Sultanate of Oman and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.

The two sides also signed annexure to the MoU on military cooperation.

During his two-day visit, Modi will also meet Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said and Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs Sayyid Asa'ad bin Tariq Al Said.

9.50am: Modi's day 2 in Oman starts with Oman-India business meeting. He complemented Oman-India strategic partnership. Modi spoke about India's economic prowess and the investment opportunities in the country.

PM is set to visit a temple in Oman. “We will be hosting for the first time an Indian PM to our Shiva temple,”said M C Rawal, Priest, Shiva Temple, Muscat, Oman.

10.05pm: In a boost to bilateral relations between the Oman and India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday met with Sultan Qaboos of Oman for delegation-level talks.

Modi said his meeting with Sultan Qaboos was "wonderful". 

Details of the eight memorandums of understanding agreed to by Sultan Qaboos of Oman and PM Modi were also made public.

oman mou

 

9.59pm: Raveesh Kumar, Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, India, reveals what the conversations between the leaders of India and Oman centered on. 

8.03pm: PM Modi ends speech where he spoke about the growth of India and his vision for the country's future.

Modi in muscat

Modi, at the end of the speech

7.07pm: PM Modi addresses the Indian expat community of Oman at the  Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat from the Royal Box.

5.59pm: Modi gets an enthusiastic welcome in Oman from his fellow Indians.

Modi Muscut5pm: PM Modi is received in Muscat by Deputy Prime Minister for Council of Ministers of Oman, Sayyid Fahd Bin Mahmoud Al Said.

4.39: Indian Premier Modi lands in Muscat.

Namo oman4.14pm: Crowds gather at the Bousher stadium in Oman anxiously awaiting the arrival of Indian Prime Minister Modi.

12.26pm: Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor was in charge of Indian Prime Minister Modi's meal in the UAE. He tweets about the experience.

 

Modi’s visit to the UAE further enriched the rapport established at the highest political levels between India and the UAE, reported news agency WAM.

Besides his official engagements in Abu Dhabi, Prime Minister Modi delivered his 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 Honour. On the sidelines of the World Government Summit, Prime Minister Modi met with a select group of senior GCC CEOs and Business Leaders.

This visit allowed leadership of the two countries to take regular stock of the bilateral ties and to review the progress made in implementing the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreement signed during the last visit of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to India in January 2017. Both sides also welcomed the signing of various agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) during the visit.

The various topics of discussion included strategic partnership for the future; combating extremism and countering terrorism; security, defence and space cooperation; international and regional cooperation; and trade, investment and civil aviation cooperation. Both leaders noted the excellent trade and economic ties between the two countries, as each other's major trading partners and expressed satisfaction at the current level of bilateral trade, which amounted to about $53 billion (Dh194 billion) in 2016-17. The two sides agreed to further strengthen these ties, particularly through diversifying non-oil trade.

Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed welcomed India's decision to participate in Dubai Expo 2020, while Modi reiterated the interest of Indian companies to be a partner in the infrastructure projects being undertaken by the UAE.

Both leaders reviewed the progress in realizing the $75 billion target for UAE investments in India committed towards infrastructure development.

The two leaders complimented the work of the ministerial-level UAE-India High Level Task Force on Investments in promoting bilateral investment ties between the two countries. They noted the positive outcome of its fifth meeting held in January 2018 in Abu Dhabi, and urged the Task Force to explore investment opportunities in both countries.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the cooperation in energy sector, noting that the UAE is one of the leading suppliers of crude oil to India. Prime Minister Modi thanked the UAE for being a reliable partner in India's energy security.

Both leaders reiterated their common desire to transform the buyer-seller relationship in the energy-sector to one of deeper partnership with focus on investment and joint ventures in petrochemical complexes, and cooperation in joint exploration in India, UAE and in third countries. Prime Minister Modi invited ADNOC and Mubadala to invest in downstream projects in India's hydrocarbon sector also.

Modi also thanked the Crown Prince for allotting land and for facilitating the construction of a temple in implementation of the decision conveyed by the UAE Government in August 2015 to address the request of Indian community in UAE. He noted that the temple would be an important symbol of UAE's firm commitment to the principles of tolerance and to building a pluralistic society where diverse communities enjoy the freedom to practice their religion, language and culture.

On culture, education and tourism the two sides welcomed participation of India as the "Guest of Honour Country" at the Abu Dhabi Music and Art Foundation Festival in March 2018 and Sharjah's participation as the Guest of Honour at the New Delhi World Book Fair 2019. The leaders also looked forward to intensifying exchanges between scholars, academics and cultural delegations.

The two leaders also discussed the importance of sharing each other's experience in the field of development and aid. In line with this, they agreed to initiate joint development projects for third countries, including exploring joint projects in Afghanistan.

Narendra Modi gave the inaugural address at the World Government Summit later today. Get live updates on everything at the World Government Summit here.

10.30am: Narendra Modi's speech

"Honoured audience, I am blessed to be able to have this opportunity to meet you once again.

I had the opportunity to meet His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed in 2016 when he came to India, as an honoured guest at our Republic Day.

After many years we have been able to establish such a profound and strong bond. It is not just a business partnership but a meaningful and enduring relationship.

For thousands of Indians, UAE is their second home and I commend the rulers of UAE who gave them this opportunity. Indians have woven dreams here.

This unique human partnership I have witnessed and I want to express my deep gratitude on behalf of all Indians to HH Shaikh Mohammad bin Zayed granting permission to build a temple here.

The temple is a unique symbol of religious tolerance and the Indian principle of Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam- one world one family.

The onus on all us Indians is that we must uphold the principles of tolerance and peace. A mini India resides in UAE.

The world is our stage and millions of Indians are progressing to new heights.

India once embodied a resigned spirit where people had lost hopes of progress.

But now in the last four years Indians know that if progress has to happen it will happen only now. We now have moved to the forefront in ease of doing business and  jumped 42 points ahead.

We are going to march to global excellence and reach new heights.

And it is our responsibility to be inclusive in our success where the benefits reach the weakest nations on earth and we truly realize the. one world one family principle.

We want to choose work that has true value and credit. Maybe these moves I make like demonetization is not a popular move. Similarly the GST rule. Work that has true value will eventually be popular.

Even if we move to a new house we experience difficulty in navigating our way . So also it is difficult to change the ways of 70 years . But we must believe our country is changing.

I had a very eventful meeting in Abu Dhabi and am very touched by your rousing welcome.

It has been a hectic journey of five countries in five days but I want to tell you the dreams that you have we will all realize those dreams earlier rather than later. This is my promise."

10.16am: Temple groundbreaking ceremony

Indian Ambassador to UAE, Navdeep Singh Suri, welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He announced the commencement of the live groundbreaking ceremony of the Hindu temple now.

10.10am: Modi arrives at the Dubai Opera

The Indian PM is greeted by Vande Mataram slogans as he enters the iconic Dubai Opera. The auditorium erupted with Bharat Mata ki Jai and Modi chants.

The national anthems of both countries played to a pin drop silence of an emotionally rapt audience - who began singing the Indian national anthem in chorus.

 

9.42am: Understanding India's soft power narrative

9:15am: Modi visits heroes' memorial

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the Wahat Al Karama, a memorial for UAE martyrs in Abu Dhabi to pay tribue to the UAE's fallen heroes.

About Wahat Al Karama

Wahat Al Karama is a memorial site built to honour the UAE’s martyrs that opened to visitors in 2016. The monument is open every day from 9am to 7pm - except on national occasions, events and visits from official delegations. Spanning across 46,000sqm. the monument is symbolically located between the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the General Headquarters of the UAE Armed Forces.

8:52am: Indian musical show enthralls crowd

A large crowd of 1,700 people invited at the Dubai Opera were treated to an Indian classical music performance ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's scheduled appearance at the venue. The show featured Indian percussionist Bikram Ghosh.

8:01am: Indian community ready to give warm welcome

Members of the Indian diaspora braved the fog and the cold to welcome Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Dubai Opera on Sunday.

Crowd gathers at Dubai Opera

Modi, who is on his second visit to the UAE in two years, arrived in the country on Saturday.

The Indian prime minister will be witnessing the groundbreaking ceremony of a historic Hindu temple being constructed in Abu Dhabi through a live feed at the Dubai Opera on Sunday. 

The event, dubbed The Millennial Moment, is being attended by a 1,700-strong audience on an "invite-only" basis.

Modi is expected to address the audience at 9.30am.

Meanwhile, an instrumental Indian classical music programme is to be presented soon. 

7:29am: Crowd gathers at Dubai Opera

Ahead of Narendra Modi's arrival in Dubai on Sunday, a crowd had started building up at the Dubai Opera where the Indian prime minister is expected to interact with the Indian community.

Dr Shyam, an Ayurveda practitioner in the UAE, tells Gulf News he is excited about the Indian prime minister's visit and that he hopes Modi will talk about Ayurveda, a holistic treatment that originated in India, which he said is popular in the UAE.

About the Dubai Opera

Even by Dubai’s usually tall standards, its opera house is exceptional.

The 2,000-odd multi format theatre – it turns into a theatre, concert hall and has a ‘flat floor’ mode -- Dubai Opera debuted in 2016 to the chords of Spanish tenor Placido Domingo. It has since played the roles of everything from audition house (for the recently concluded West End-production-with-UAE-talent Evita) to fine dining restaurant, to movie theatre with a difference; Harry Potter spun spells with a live orchestra in the backdrop in December.

Paying homage to the UAE’s maritime traditions, the dhow-design exterior of Dubai Opera, by architect Janus Rostock, does not belie what lies inside. A hall where snow may fall come winter (it did for the Nutcracker), where a cherry blossom blooms for the broken-hearted (Puccini’s Madame Butterfly) and where it’s possible to dance on rooftops (Mary Poppins).

What to expect from Day 2 of Modi's UAE visit

Abu Dhabi/Dubai: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Wahat Al Karama, a memorial for UAE martyrs in Abu Dhabi, and pay his respects to the fallen heroes on Sunday morning before leaving for Dubai.

The premier will interact with the Indian community at Dubai Opera later where he will also participate in the ground-breaking ceremony of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi through livestreaming.

Modi's other high-level engagements include a bilateral meeting with His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and a keynote address at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Sunday, in which India is the guest of honour.

Modi arrived in Abu Dhabi for a two-day official visit on Saturday, affirming long-standing historical ties between the UAE and India.

The Indian leader, who is on a four-nation Middle East tour, received a warm welcome from His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

As it happened on Saturday 

11.14pm: Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed tweets about a boost to the strategic ties between UAE and India. 

9.35pm: Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed and Indian Prime Minister Modi witness the signing of an agreement and three memoranda of understanding between the two countries to promote bilateral partnerships.

9.25pm: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed hold bilateral talks.

Indian PM Narendra Modi holds bilateral talks with Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. — Twitter

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed tweets: "The Indian Prime Minister’s visit reflects our longstanding historical ties and is testament to our friendly bilateral relationship. His visit also demonstrates the approach embraced by the two leaderships to bolster our cooperation in all domains and follow up this strategic approach through effective mechanisms to ensure the fulfilment of their visions."

8.25pm: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi oversees the signing of a number of agreements: On manpower; cooperation in railways; cooperation in inland waterways; and a deal between Bombay Stock Exchange and Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange. 

8pm: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at the newly opened Presidential Palace. The ceremony is set to start any minute now. But first, he meets the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

modi

 Indian PM Narendra Modi is the first world leader to be hosted in the new Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi. - Binsal Abdul Kader / Gulf News

Modi is the first world leader to be hosted in the new Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, according to officials. 

7.45pm:  Dr Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, explains UAE-India strategic relations.

7.15: Iconic UAE buildings light up in Indian tricolour

LED lights on the skin of the ADNOC building in Abu Dhahi displays the Indian tricolour. The Burj Khalifa and other iconic buildings in the UAE also display the Indian flag on giant LED screens on Saturday for the Indian premier's visit. — AFP

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the UAE for two-day official visit.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, other shaikhs and senior officials welcomed Modi.

 

The prime minister held a bilateral meeting with Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed at Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, officials told Gulf News.  

Watch: Iconic UAE buildings light up in Indian tricolour
6 reasons why UAE and India are closer than ever before  

Agreements

Several agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were signed between both nations on Saturday.

The most important agreements will be in the energy and manpower sectors, diplomatic sources told Gulf News on Saturday.

Shaikh Mohammad will host a banquet in honour of Modi after the bilateral talks and signing of the MoU.

Modi's other high-level engagements include a bilateral meeting with His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and a keynote address at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Sunday, in which India is the guest of honour.

Modi reached the UAE after a historic visit to Palestine as the first Indian prime minister to visit the country, as part of a four-nation tour covering Jordan and Oman.

Trust expresses thanks for Abu Dhabi temple
UAE leaders set to welcome Modi to UAE

Modi is expected to visit Wahat Al Karama, a memorial for UAE martyrs in Abu Dhabi, and pay his respects to the fallen heroes on Sunday morning before leaving for Dubai.

The premier will interact with the Indian community at Dubai Opera later where he will also participate in the ground-breaking ceremony of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi through livestreaming.

He will also have a meeting with Arab CEOs in Dubai. The prime minister will leave for Oman from Dubai to conclude the visit to the region.

This is Modi's second visit to the UAE in two-and-a-half years, following his maiden visit in August 2015, which was the first official visit of an Indian prime minister to the UAE in 34 years after Indira Gandhi's visit in 1981.

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan also visited India twice in the same period: in February 2016 and January 2017.

The intensive high-level interactions elevated the bilateral relations into a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations.

 

With inputs from Binsal Abdul Kader, Senior Reporter

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