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Embassy of India Abu Dhabi

India-UAE Bilateral Relations

1. India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) established diplomatic relations in 1972; the UAE Embassy in India was opened in 1972 while Indian Embassy in UAE was opened in 1973.

Political Relations

2. India-UAE bilateral relations have received impetus from time-to-time with exchange of high-level visits from both sides. The visit of Prime Minister of India to UAE on 16-17 August 2015 marked the beginning of a new Comprehensive and Strategic partnership. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, visited India from February 10-12, 2016.

3. Crown Prince visited India again on 24-26 January 2017 as the Chief Guest at India’s Republic day celebrations. During this visit the relations were upgraded to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Both sides also signed MoUs on strengthening cooperation in cyber space, defense, maritime/road transport, SME, agriculture, manpower, human trafficking, entry visa exemption for diplomatic, special and official passport holders, media, energy, etc during the visit.

4. UAE is one of the few countries where Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi visited twice. The State visit of the Prime Minister to UAE on 10-11 February, 2018 helped in sustaining the momentum generated by earlier visits of Crown Prince in 2017 and 2016 and that of PM in 2015. In addition to bilateral meetings with the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, PM also delivered the key note address on the theme - "Technology for Development”- at the sixth World Government Summit in Dubai, where India was invited as the Guest of Honour. On the side-lines of the World Government Summit, Prime Minister Modi met with a select group of senior GCC CEOs and Business Leaders. He also addressed the Indian community at Dubai Opera House, and unveiled a model of the first Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi. Following MoUs / Agreements were signed during the visit:

  • a) Agreement between Indian Consortium (OVL, BPRL & IOCL) and ADNOC for acquisition of 10% participating interest in the offshore Lower Zakhum Concession;

  • b) MoU between Government of India and Government of UAE for cooperation in the field of Manpower;

  • c) MoU between Ministry of Railways, India and Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime of UAE for Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector;

  • d) MoU between Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX); and

  • e) MoU between Government of Jammu and Kashmir and DP World FZE for development of Multi modal logistics hub in J&K.

5. The momentum generated by PM’s visits was sustained by back to back reciprocal visits at the level of Foreign Ministers. External Affairs Minister of India visited UAE thrice. Her first visit took place in November 2014. She subsequently visited Abu Dhabi in December 2018 to participate at the 12th Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) and again in March 2019 to attend Organization of Islamic Nations (OIC) meeting where India was invited as ‘Guest of Honor’ country by the UAE despite an objection from OIC member, Pakistan. EAM Sushma Swaraj addressed the inaugural session of the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on 1st March 2019, in Abu Dhabi. The UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah also visited India twice in June 2018 and as recently as from 7th - 9th July and met EAM and called on PM.

6. The other recent developments include the UAE conferring Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the highest civilian award, 'Order of Zayed', in appreciation of his efforts to boost bilateral ties between the two countries and India’s participation at the 29th edition of the ‘Abu Dhabi Book Fair 2019’ as the ‘Guest of Honour Nation’. The foundation stone laying ceremony for the first traditional Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi was held in April 2019 and was attended by many dignitaries including the UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi and the Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, Dr Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi.

7. Parliamentary Cooperation: An Indian Parliamentary delegation led by Honorable Member of Parliament Shri Bhartruhari Mehtab for the Asian Parliamentary Assembly Standing Committee Meeting in Abu Dhabi in May 2017 met Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council (FNC). During the meeting, Indian delegation invited the Speaker of FNC to visit India.

Institutional Mechanism
8. India and UAE have following institutional mechanisms in place for addressing sector-specific issues.

  • a) Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) – JCM deals with issues related to trade and commerce. EAM Ms. Sushma Swaraj visited UAE in 3-5 December 2018 for the 12th session of the India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting for Technical and Economic Cooperation held in Abu Dhabi. During the meeting, co-chaired by UAE Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed, both sides discussed issues related to bilateral cooperation.

  • b) Foreign Office Consultations - A Memorandum of Understanding on holding annual Political Consultations was signed during the visit of the UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed AI Nahyan to New Delhi in June 2011. Annual Foreign Office Consultations are held at the Secretary-level. Second India-UAE Foreign Office Consultations took place on February 8-9, 2012 in New Delhi. The UAE delegation was led by the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Tariq Ahmed Ibrahim AI Haidan and Indian delegation was headed by Secretary (East) Shri Sanjay Singh. Since then no FOCs have been held.

  • c) Joint Defence Coordination Committee - With signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation in 2003, a Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC) was established. JDCC provides a platform for a regular exchange of dialogue in defence sector. The latest (9th) round of JDCC was held in New Delhi on 7-8 December, 2017.

  • d) India-UAE High-level Task Force on Investment (HLTFI) - A High Level Task Force on Investment was established in May 2012. The sixth HLTFI meeting was held in Mumbai on 15 October 2018. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court and Suresh Prabhu, Commerce and Industry Minister, co-chaired the meeting.

  • e) Joint Committee for Consular Affairs (JCCA) - The MoU for establishing a Joint Committee on Consular Affairs was signed on April 16, 2012. The second round of JCCA was held in Abu Dhabi on 14 December 2016.

  • f) Joint Security Committee (JSC) - The JSC addresses issues being dealt with under various security related agreements signed between the two countries. The JSC will also be mandated to look into expeditious processing of these pending cases.

  • g) Joint Business Council - A Joint Business Council consisting of Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FUCCI) and FICCI is also in place.

  • h) Joint Committee on Manpower issues - Second Joint Committee Meeting between the two sides was held in New Delhi in September 2011 (1st meeting was held in Dubai in May, 2007). A meeting was held on 31 January, 2018 at UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Dubai where bilateral issues regarding manpower and labor were discussed.

  • i) Joint Working Group on Skill Development - Under the provisions of the MoU for Cooperation in Skill Development and Recognition of Qualifications signed with UAE in February 2016, a JWG was formed to establish and implement framework of activities. The JWG held its first meeting in New Delhi on 29 April 2016 which was co-chaired by Secretary, MSDE and DG of National Qualifications Authority, UAE. In September 2018, a delegation from the UAE Ministry of Human Resource & Emiratization visited India to collaborate for various skill development initiatives.

  • J) India-UAE Strategic Dialogue - In pursuant to the Joint Statement issued during the visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to India in February 2016, this dialogue at the level of MoS has been institutionalized.

  • k) Consultations between our National Security Council Secretariat and their UAE counterpart - As a follow up to the Joint Statement issued at the conclusion of PM's visit to UAE in August 2015, regular consultations between our National Security Council Secretariat and their UAE counterpart have been institutionalized. There have been regular exchanges of visits to further cooperation in identified security related areas of common interest.

  • l) Joint Working Group on Rail Cooperation: First meeting of ‘Joint Working Group on Rail Cooperation’ was held in February 2019, in New Delhi.