The Indian government has lauded a decision by the United Arab Emirates to allocate land for the building of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.
Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, currently on a two-day trip to the UAE, said in a tweet on Sunday, that he was thankful to the UAE government, describing the move, “a great step”.
There are currently two Hindu temples and one Sikh gurudwara in Dubai, but none in Abu Dhabi.
On Sunday, Modi became the first Indian premier to visit the country in 34 years, meeting with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
The trip is seen an important step in burgeoning trade relations between India and the UAE, and the decision to allocate land for a temple in Abu Dhabi underpins the strategic vision of the two nations.
The UAE, a federation of seven emirates, is home to about 2.6 million Indian expatriates who comprise a third of the total population and outnumber the local Emirati population. Annual Indian remittances from the UAE are estimated at $14bn.
India is the UAE’s second-largest trading partner and the UAE is India’s third largest trading partner behind the US and China. Trade between the two reached $60bn last year.
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