Abu Dhabi: The UAE is expected to open its new consulate in India in the southern state of Kerala in August, Gulf News has learnt.

A senior diplomat has been appointed the first Consul-General at the proposed consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, and he will also take charge next month.

However, the official announcement in this regard will be made by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation later, said a senior official at the ministry who did not want to be named.

The UAE has expressed its plan to open a consulate in Kerala in 2011, following a request from the Indian government and initiated by the Government of Kerala. Of the 2.6 million Indians, who constitute the largest expatriate community in the UAE, Keralites make up the largest community group. Although no official data is available, almost 50 per cent of the Indian expatriates in the UAE are said to be Keralites.

T.P. Seetharam, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, welcomed the opening of the UAE Consulate in Kerala. He said the new diplomatic mission will help south Indians to get their UAE visa and other documents easily.

“This will improve people-to-people relations,” Seetharam said.

Yusuf Ali M.A., chairman of LuLu Group, and vice-chairman of NORKA-ROOTS, a Kerala government institution for non-resident Keralites, said the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram would help all stakeholders, in multiple areas, such as travel and tourism, medical and health care, employment and recruitment, investment and trade relations.

“In my capacity as the vice-chairman of NORKA-ROOTS, I will extend all my support to the new Consul-General and work towards the socioeconomic development of both countries,” he said.