Inauguration of Abu Dhabi’s Hindu temple milestone for tolerance: UAE envoy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the temple on February 14.

Gandhinagar: The inauguration of the BAPS Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi next month will be a monumental day to “celebrate tolerance and acceptance”, the Ambassador of the UAE to India Abdulnasser Alshaali said on Thursday.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the temple on February 14.

“We are looking forward to the inauguration on February 14 it’s going to be a phenomenal monumental day, a special occasion to celebrate tolerance, acceptance, and to further strengthen this relationship,” Ambassador Alshaali told PTI.

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Last month, Swami Ishwarcharandas and Swami Brahmaviharidas extended the invitation on behalf of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Hindu Mandir, and it has been accepted by PM Modi.

The ambassador has also confirmed the grand diaspora gathering scheduled at the Sheikh Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on February 13.

The event is titled ‘Ahlan Modi,’ which translates to ‘Hello Modi’.

According to the UN’s International Migration 2020 report, the UAE boasts the largest Indian diaspora population at 3.5 million, surpassing the United States of America (2.7 million) and Saudi Arabia (2.5 million).

On Tuesday, India and the UAE solidified their collaboration by signing four Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs). These agreements were finalised during talks between PM Modi and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, aimed at strengthening bilateral ties.

The countries have discussed technology, aerospace, and space-related issues during the talks.

Three of these MoUs are between Dubai’s Ministry of Investment and the Government of India, and the fourth one is between DP World and the Government of Gujarat to develop sustainable ports in the state.

“The first three MoUs are in healthcare, renewable energy to develop 60 gigawatts of projects, and the fourth is in terms of allocating land for the food parks project as part of the I2U2,” the UAE ambassador said.

“There will always be tangible outcomes when it comes to the relationship between the UAE and India. It’s not a matter of how or what is going to happen,” the ambassador emphasised.

He further stated that defence is a “natural area of cooperation” between the two countries.

“India is growing as a player in the defence sector. The UAE is always looking at multiple suppliers for equipment. And so this is also a natural area of cooperation and a natural partnership between the two countries,” the ambassador underlined.

The UAE is the fourth largest investor in India, while it is the third largest trading partner.

The UAE-India Business Summit, themed “Two Nations, One Vision,” occurred alongside the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024 on Wednesday.

A notable outcome of this meeting was the formal launch of the UAE-India CEPA Council (UICC).

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