World Government Summit, Bharat Mart and BAPS temple: Modi shuttles between Abu Dhabi and Dubai


On Tuesday evening, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai lit up with the Indian tricolour — as a beautifully-synchronised welcome gesture to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who arrived in Dubai on Wednesday to speak at the World Government Summit. He met His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, and later tweeted: “It is always a delight to meet @HHShkMohd. His vision for Dubai’s growth is clearly visible to the entire world.” Their bilateral discussions covered a “wide range of subjects”, from commerce to connectivity and “ways to boost people-to-people linkages”. The very special relationship that Dubai — often referred to as the ‘best Indian city’ by the desi diaspora — has with India is clearly poised for further growth.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, who welcomed the Indian PM when he arrived in the emirate, took to social media to announce, “We extend a warm welcome to the Republic of India and to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The strong ties between our nations serve as a model for international cooperation.”

Addressing the World Government Summit — which brought together more than 25 heads of state, more than 85 international and regional organisations and global institutions, and 140 governments — PM Modi spoke eloquently about the India success story and how it’s driven in phenomenal growth; he said India’s rise has been possible because of people participation, social inclusion, and sustainable development. He went on to emphasise that the world at large needs inclusive, corruption-free, smart, technology-driven, green governments that focus on ease of living.

Here is a snapshot that encapsulates what PM Modi elaborated at the summit:

On the sidelines of the summit, PM Modi met Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina, and reaffirmed India’s “unwavering” commitment to further strengthen bilateral ties and help in the development of the island nation.

In Dubai, he also inaugurated Bharat Mart, a warehousing facility for Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), alongside HH Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The facility will be operational by next year, and is poised to be an enabler for Indian companies to trade out of Dubai. Located in DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone, Bharat Mart will be a unified platform for exporters to showcase their varied range of products under a single roof, across a planned total area of over 100,000 square metres, and will help Indian businesses to reach out to international buyers in the Gulf, West Asia, Africa, and Eurasia.

PM Modi returned to Abu Dhabi in the afternoon for the much-awaited inauguration of the BAPS Hindu temple. He once again thanked HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, for his contribution to make this dream become a reality, took part in the rituals and offered prayers.

Like a sprinkling of stardust, a galaxy of Bollywood celebrities, including Akshay Kumar, Vivek Oberoi and Shankar Mahadevan, were present for the grand event. Mahadevan told news agency ANI that “This [the temple inauguration in Abu Dhabi] is an extremely happy moment for India and Indians all over the world. This is a historic moment in our lives where we are going to witness a mandir which is so magnificent and spiritual coming on a land like Abu Dhabi. Only our PM Narendra Modi can execute this…” —  Sushmita Bose is Managing Editor of


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