File: Indian PM Narendra Modi. Image Credit: PTI

Abu Dhabi / Dubai: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the UAE on Saturday, the UAE’s official news agency WAM reported on Sunday.

The Indian premier will hold talks with His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on ways to bolster the historic friendship and strategic cooperation between the UAE and India.

The two leaders will also discuss the latest developments and the regional and international issues of common interest. Modi’s visit comes in line with the two leadership’s keenness to develop their ties of friendship and cooperation further in the best interests of the two nations.

According to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit the UAE on August 23-24 and Bahrain on August 24-25.

“The Prime Minister Modi would receive the Order of Zayed, the highest civil decoration of the UAE which was conferred earlier in April 2019 in recognition of the distinguished leadership of Prime Minister Modi for giving a big boost to bilateral relations between the two countries," according to a statement from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)

"The award in the name of Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, acquires special significance as it was awarded to Prime Minister Modi in the year of the birth centenary of Shaikh Zayed,” it said.

The ministry said India and the UAE enjoy warm, close and multi-faceted relations underpinned by cultural, religious and economic linkages which, during the Prime Minister’s previous visit to the UAE during August, 2015, stood elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

In February 2018, Modi visited the UAE as Chief Guest at the World Government Summit.

Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan had visited India during February 2016 and then during January, 2017 as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations.

“With robust flow of bilateral investments and an annual bilateral trade of about US$60 billion, the UAE is our third-largest trade partner. Also, the UAE is the fourth-largest exporter of crude oil for India. A 3.3 million-strong vibrant Indian community in the UAE nourishes the vibrant people-to-people contacts between our two friendly countries. The visit would further strengthen our friendly bilateral ties with the UAE.”

Visit to Bahrain

The Prime Minister would also be paying a state visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain from 24-25 August 2019. This will be the first ever Prime Ministerial visit from India to Bahrain.

During the visit, Modi would be meeting and holding talks with His Royal Highness Prince Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain to discuss entire spectrum of bilateral relations and also regional and international issues of mutual interest.

“His Majesty the King of Bahrain Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa will be hosting a banquet dinner in honour of Prime Minister. PM Modi would also launch the renovation of Shreenathji (Shree Krishna) temple in Manama.”

India enjoys close and friendly relations with Bahrain rooted in ancient trade and cultural links and people to people contacts and underpinned by regular exchange of high level visits.

India-Bahrain bilateral trade has been on the rise for the last few years, reaching about US$ 1.3 billion in 2018-19. Further about 350,000 Indian nationals, the largest expatriate community in Bahrain has been contributing to the development of Bahrain.

The presence of over 3,000 Indian-owned/Joint Ventures in Bahrain indicates the intense economic engagement between the two countries.

The visit will provide an opportunity to further cement our mutually beneficial bilateral ties with Bahrain.