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Overview of PM Modi’s visit to UAE and Qatar – February 2024

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Visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister to the UAE and Qatar (13-15 February 2024)Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi was on official visit to U.A.E. and Qatar from 13th February to 15th February, 2024.

PM Visit to U.A.E.

PM Modi visited Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) on 13th February, 2024.

PM Modi was welcomed by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, UAE.This was the 7th visit of PM Modi to the UAE in last 9 years.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi witnessed the exchange of the following:

  • Bilateral Investment Treaty.
  • Inter-Governmental Framework Agreement on the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC).
  • Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation on Digital Infrastructure Projects.
  • Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Electricity Interconnection and Trade.
  • Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation with the National Maritime Heritage Complex, Lothal at Gujarat.
  • Cooperation Protocol between the National Library and Archives of the UAE and the National Archives of India.
  • Agreement on interlinking of the instant payment platforms – UPI (India) and AANI (UAE).
  • Agreement on inter-linking domestic debit/credit cards – RuPay (India) with JAYWAN (UAE).

Interlinking of UPI and AANI

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and UAE on interlinking of instant payment platforms i.e. UPI (India) and AANI (UAE). The MoU was signed in the presence of PM Modi and UAE President, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

  • It will facilitate seamless cross-border transactions between India and UAE.

Note: Now, the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) payments service is acceptable in 7 countries: France, UAE, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bhutan and Nepal.

Launch of RuPay card at Abu Dhabi

PM Modi and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahayan; President of UAE introduced India’s UPI RuPay card service in Abu Dhabi, UAE on 13th February, 2024.

i.MoU was signed on interlinking of domestic debit and credit cards i.e. RuPay(India) and JAYWAN(UAE). This will enhance the universal acceptance of RuPay card across the UAE.

ii.PM Modi and UAE President Al Nahyan witnessed a transaction made using the JAYWAN card.

India and UAE signed Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT)

During PM Modi visit to UAE on 13th February,2024, several important agreements were signed to give boost to bilateral trade between two countries. Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) is one of the important agreements that were signed between India and UAE.

  • It holds great significance for both India and UAE as it will play key role for further promoting investment in both countries.

Key Points:

i.The treaty follows the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed by both countries which came into existence on 1st May, 2022. This resulted in an increase of 16% in bilateral trade.

  • The two leaders also acknowledged the formal unveiling of the UAE-India CEPA Council (UICC), which stands as an important development in the bilateral trade partnership.

ii.India is second largest trading partner of UAE in 2022-2023 as bilateral rose to USD 85 billion. UAE is India’s third-largest trading partner for the year 2022-23.

iii.UAE was the 4th largest source of FDI for India in 2022-2023 which saw investment of around USD 3.5 billion and India’s second-largest export destination.

Inter-Governmental Framework Agreement on the IMEEC

India and UAE signed an Intergovernmental Framework Agreement on the India-Middle East Economic Corridor (IMEEC). It will give boost to India and the UAE cooperation which further promotes regional connectivity.

Significance: Framework includes various elements like: development and management of a logistics platform which includes a digital ecosystem and provision of supply chain services to handle all types of general cargo, bulk containers.

  • This was the 1st agreement signed since the formation of IMEEC in 2023.

About India-Middle East Economic Corridor (IMEEC): 

i.It was formed on the sidelines of G-20 summit held in New Delhi, Delhi in September 2023.

ii.It is an infrastructure development project that aims to provide connectivity through rail and shipping network. Its main objective to provide alternative to China led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

iii. At present, India, the United States of America (U.S.A.), Saudi Arabia, the European Union (EU), Italy, France and Germany are signatories of IME-EC.

India and UAE signed MoU to accelerate growth of digital economy

Dr. Subramanian Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, India on behalf of Ministry of Electronics and Technology(MEITY), India and Mohamed Hasan Alsuwaidi, Ministry of Investment, the UAE signed a MoU for the expansion of bilateral investment cooperation in the digital infrastructure sector, focuses mainly on data centre projects in India.

Key Points about MoU:

i.According to the MoU, India and UAE will jointly explore and evaluate the technical and investment potential of data centre projects in India with capacity of 2 GigaWatt (GW).

ii.It focuses on fostering collaboration between public and private organization in the UAE and India.

iii.It will promote investments in Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other fields related to Research and Development (R&D) and innovation. It also includes deployment of super computer clusters in India.

iv.MoU will facilitate the sharing of technical knowledge, skills and expertise.

  • India currently holds a position among the top 15 countries globally regarding data centre capacity, boasting a network of 151 data centres spread across its different regions. The country’s internet economy is expected to reach US$1 trillion by 2030, a significant surge from US$175 billion in 2022.

Other Important Agreements 

i.Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and UAE for cooperation in the field of electrical interconnection and trade. It will open new avenues of collaboration in the field of energy which includes energy security and energy trade.

  • This MoU will support Green Grids- One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) initiative launched by PM Modi during 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) held in Glasgow, Scotland.

ii.A Cooperation protocol is established between the national archives of India and UAE. It will help to restore and preserve archive material.

iii.MoU was signed on cooperation in the field of heritage and museums. It will help to foster engagement between two countries aimed at supporting the Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal, Gujarat.

iv.RITES(Rail India Technical and Economic Service) Limited signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports company and Gujarat Maritime Board with Abu Dhabi Ports company. Both these agreements would help in building port infrastructure and will enhance connectivity between India and UAE.

v.New long-term agreements for supply of Liquefied Natural Gas(LNG) signed between ADNOC Gas(Abu Dhabi, UAE) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited(IOCL) for supply of 1.2 MMTPA(Million Metric Tonnes Per Annum) LNG.

  • Also, ADNOC Gas signed MoU with Gas Authority of India(GAIL) for supply of 0.5 MMTPA LNG.

vi.Cooperation Protocol between the National Library and Archives of the UAE and the National Archives of India.

PM Modi inaugurated 1st Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi

On 14th February,2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated BAPS temple,1st Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi, the UAE.

  • PM Modi described it as a symbol of the shared heritage of humanity.

About BAPS temple:

i.The temple is built on a 27-acre site in Abu Mreikhah, near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway. It is built at a cost of Rs700 crore.

ii.The temple is built by the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS).

iii.Large number of pink sandstones was used in the construction of temple. These pink sandstones were transported mainly from Rajasthan, India.

PM Modi and his UAE counterpart laid the foundation stone of Bharat Mart platform

PM Narendra Modi and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makkoum, Vice President of UAE virtually laid the foundation stone of Bharat Mart at Jebel Ali Free trade zone, Dubai(UAE). Bharat Mart will be built by DP World.


i.It will give boost to bilateral trade between India and UAE.

ii.It will support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise(MSME) sector in India by providing them a platform to reach out international buyers.

iii.It will help them to promote their products across Middle East, West Asia, Africa and Eurasia.

PM Modi announced the establishment of new CBSE office in Dubai

While addressing the gathering at the “Ahlan Modi” diaspora event held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, PM Modi announced of setting up of a new Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE) office in Dubai, UAE.

i.PM highlighted the commencement of 1st Master’s program in Energy Transition and Sustainability by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

UAE Vice President presented copy of his book to PM Modi

Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of UAE presented a copy of his book titled “My Story” and personalized message to PM Modi during their bilateral meeting on 14th February, 2024 in Dubai, UAE.

i.During the bilateral meeting, both leaders discussed on various areas of bilateral cooperation such as: trade, investment, technology, space and education.

ii.They also acknowledged the contribution of the Indian Diaspora in the growth of Dubai in various sectors like: trade, service and tourism.

PM Modi attended World Government Summit in Dubai

Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated at the World Government Summit as “Guest of Honor”. The summit held in Dubai, UAE from 12th February to 14th February, 2024.

  • PM Modi attended the summit at the invitation of Vice President of UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Theme 2024: “Shaping the Future Governments”.

PM Modi visit to Qatar

On his last leg of foreign tour, PM Modi arrived at Doha, Qatar on 14th February,2024. He was received by Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Qatar.

He received a ceremonial honor on 15th February,2024 in Doha, Qatar. Later, bilateral meeting was held between PM Modi and Emir of State of Qatar , Sheikh Tamim bin Al Thani.

i.Both leaders held discussions on expanding of bilateral cooperation in various sectors such as: trade, investment, energy, finance and technology.

ii.The meeting was attended by S.Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, India and Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor (NSA), India.

iii. Qatar has emerged as an important commercial partner for India, with two-way trade currently worth $20 billion a year.

About United Arab Emirates (UAE):
Capital: Abu Dhabi
President: Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Currency: United Arab Emirates Dirham

About Qatar:
Capital: Doha
President: Sheikh Tamim bin Al Thani
Currency: Qatari Riyal (QAR)