NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday.
During the visit, Modi, who will be the first Indian prime minister to visit the UAE after Indira Gandhi in 1981, will seek to boost cooperation in energy, trade, people-to-people ties and more investments in India.
Terrorism will also be high on the talks agenda. The prime minister will reach Abu Dhabi on August 16 and go to Dubai the next day.
On the first day, Modi will hold official talks with the leadership of Abu Dhabi and later visit Masdar City, a city project in Abu Dhabi where he is expected to spend time watching presentations, the external affairs ministry said.
Later, he will meet business people and focus on investments. The following day, he will first visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and then travel to Dubai where, after meeting Dubai's ruler, he will attend a grand public reception hosted for him at the Dubai Cricket Grounds.
Ahead of the visit, Modi on Thursday said in a statement that the UAE was a valued partner and the extent of bilateral ties indicate the vibrant relations the nations enjoy.
"India is the UAE's second largest trading partner and the UAE is India's third largest trade partner," he said.
Modi said the over 2.5 million Indians who have made the UAE their home "contributed immensely to the progress of the UAE and also gave back to India at every occasion.
"India and the UAE are fantastically connected, be it via air or through the sea." He also praised the economic progress made by the UAE.
Modi said that during his visit, he will seek to enhance cooperation in energy and trade and talk to investors on why India was an attractive destination to invest.
"I am certain my visit will boost people-to-people ties between our nations. I specially look forward to meeting the large community of Indian workers based in the UAE," he said.