Mumbai: India-UAE trade, valued at USD 180 million (Dh 660.6 million) per annum in the 1970s, is around USD 60 billion making the UAE, India's third largest trading partner for the year 2014-15 after China and the US.
Given that late Indira Gandhi was the last Prime Minister to visit UAE in 1981, Modi's visit is seen as an opportunity to boost India-UAE ties in key areas of trade and security. Marvelling at the UAE's spectacular achievements, Modi described the Gulf nation as a paradise built up in a desert with unmatched vision and remarkable skill.
"I have always thought, how this paradise could come up in a desert? What vision! What remarkable skill!" Modi said of the country. After his arrival, Modi's first public engagement will be to visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a key place of worship in UAE and known as a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. The mosque is the third largest in the world after the ones in Mecca and Madina in Saudi Arabia.
It is named after the founder and first President of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Notably, a large portion of the 2.6 million Indians in the UAE are from Bihar and many are Muslims. Modi will also interact with Indian workers at their camps I-CAD to know the problems they face and discuss ways Indian government can help them. The I-CAD Residential Labour Camp, housing thousands of migrant labourers from the Indian subcontinent in an area spread over one square kilometre.