From left: Rizwan Sajan, Dr Azad Moopen, Nilesh Bhatnagar Image Credit: Supplied


Hundreds of Indians, who braved the fog and traffic on Sunday morning to meet their Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, at a community reception in Dubai Opera, left with renewed hope for their country and its relations with the UAE.

Speaking to Gulf News after the event dubbed ‘The Millennial Moment’, Indian expats expressed satisfaction at Modi’s speech in which he reassured them of “hope for an India where things will get done” and “more profound relations with the UAE.”

Neelesh Bhatnagar, owner of NB Ventures who watched Modi live in Dubai for the second time, said Modi’s thinking is crystal clear and he offered new hope for the Indian diaspora across the world.

“He was so right in saying that Indians are now once again hopeful of the future. Now, a definitive phase has started and the uncertainty has ended. We are lucky to have a leader like him.”

Sangeetha Sridhar, who came from Abu Dhabi at 5am, said the excitement level was quite high. “This is definitely a millennial moment. Based on his speech…it is no longer questions that are coming out of lack of hope back home in India. Today, we are asking questions out of our hope. Is India clean, is India safe, is ‘Make in India’ a reality, this is all coming out of hope.”

Dr. Mustafa Taherali Saasa, a prominent member of the Dawoodi Bohra community here, said Modi’s visit has reinforced the mutual relationships with the UAE.

“The Bohra community is a business community. We see the brand of India-UAE partnership flourishing. Of course, that will [help] flourish the business and our community, and all Indians globally.”

Dr. Saasa said Dubai is the only home for his community members, who have been in the UAE for 60 years.

“We gel with all communities around the world and flourish with the nation. For some, Dubai is the second home, for some Dubai is the first home. For us, Dubai is the only home. This is the kind of sense of belonging we have with this nation.”

Vandana Srivastava, a Dubai-based legal consultant, said: “The India-UAE relationship has reached a new height today with the visit of our beloved PM Modiji. The two countries have proven again that they share the common values of innovation, culture and tolerance. May the India-UAE friendship live long!”

Abbas Ali Mirza, a former member of Indian Businessman and Professional Council, said the Indo-UAE friendship has grown in strength and sustainability.

“Modi’s second visit in three years has injected enthusiasm and conviction [in us]. India is fast proving to be a global player and the its partnership with the UAE is transforming into a strong team.”

Anita Sachan, a business woman in the UAE for 25 years, said she was very proud about the way the Indo-UAE friendship has grown.

“We share a lot of common heritage and culture and feel so blessed to have a temple foundation being laid. It is our turn to give back to this community as much as we can.”