New Delhi [India], February 12 (ANI): The inauguration of the BAPS temple is a “key part” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during which he will also address the Indian community in the UAE at an event in Zayed Sports city in Abu Dhabi, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said on Monday.
“The inauguration programme of BAPS temple is one of the key parts of PM Modi’s UAE visit…as per the information available right now, around 2000-5000 devotees are expected to visit the temple on that day,” Kwatra said at a media briefing here.
PM Modi be in UAE on a two-day official visit beginning tomorrow. This will be his seventh visit to the UAE since 2015 and the third in the last eight months.
During the visit, PM Modi will hold bilateral meetings with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The two leaders will discuss ways to further deepen, expand and strengthen the strategic partnership between the countries and exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
The Prime Minister will also participate in the World Government Summit 2024 to be held in Dubai as a Guest of Honour and deliver a special keynote address.
Bilateral ties between the two countries have been elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Both countries signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in February 2022 and a Local Currency Settlement (LCS) System in July 2023 to promote the use of Indian Rupee and AED for cross-border transactions.
The two countries are among each other’s top trading partners with bilateral trade of about USD 85 billion in 2022-23.
Preparations are in full swing in Abu Dhabi ahead of the inauguration of BAPS Mandir by PM Modi on February 14.
Volunteers of the temple have expressed their enthusiasm and termed the inauguration a “dream” that has come true for “everyone in the Indian community.”
Speaking to ANI, Vishal Patel, a volunteer said, “I have been living in the UAE for over eight years, and I am a lead volunteer here at the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi. We are incredibly excited. This Mandir is a dream come true for everyone in the Indian community, living here in the Middle East…”
“And now we are so pleased and excited to see PM of India Narendra Modi coming on February 14. We are so so grateful to the leadership of UAE,” Patel said.
The Madir, the first traditional Hindu temple in the United Arab Emirates, sits on 27 acres of land that was generously gifted by the UAE leadership.
Another volunteer, Umesh Raja said that the gifting of land by the UAE rulers brings back to the community a “message of love, peace and harmony.”
“For the last 12 months, I have been here as a volunteer offering my services. What I love about this place is the generosity of the rulers here….and what it brings back to the community is that message of love, peace and harmony,” he told ANI.
BAPS Hindu Mandir is set to become the Middle East’s first traditional Hindu stone temple. Situated in the Abu Mureikhah area, this majestic structure embodies the spirit of cultural peace and collaboration and is a testament to the enduring friendship between India and the UAE. (ANI)