UAE to Open 3 New Consular Centers, Invest $75 Billion in India
The UAE embassy also launched a new mobile app for people travelling between the two countries.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will open three new consular centers and invest $75 billion of its sovereign wealth fund in India in the next 10 years, the country’s envoy said on Dec. 5 in New Delhi. The decision comes ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the gulf nation in February 2018 for a summit.
“Under the present circumstances, if people from Chandigarh, Chennai and Hyderabad want a visa to the UAE, they have to travel to either Mumbai or Delhi or Kerala. So to prevent hardship for the people, we are soon going to open our consular and visa centers in these cities,” Dr Ahmed Albanna, the ambassador of UAE, told the media in New Delhi.
The increased number of consular centers will facilitate Indians seeking work in UAE. Indians make up one of the largest expat communities in the country. Albanna also launched a mobile app that would help those visiting from UAE and those visiting the Gulf nation from India.
“The Embassy has created two applications on the Apple Store and Google Play where you can access them under the name of United Arab Emirates Embassy, New Delhi,” he said. “The app is more like a map with key destinations and points along with proper guidance. For UAE nationals, it provides services such as ‘Twajudi’ (a service aimed at helping any national return in case of emergency) as well as in cases of lost passports. For Indian nationals, the app provides visa and attestation information to help bridge the information gap and smoothen the overall process,” a statement released by the embassy said.
Albanna also said that of the proposed $75 billion investment, $1 billion has already been invested in India. The funds will be used for infrastructure projects in the country.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), which operates the sovereign fund, bought stakes in KKR India Financial Services Pvt Ltd, a major non-banking financial company in India, a day before Albana declared the investment for India.
In January 2017, India had signed 14 agreements with the UAE to strengthen bilateral relations during the visit of Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The agreements included defense industries, maritime transport, cybersecurity, shipping and transport.
“I believe that the UAE, with its unique development experience and Islamic and Arab background, and India, with its inimitable and successful development experience and its unique model of coexistence, can work together to push for peace and stability in Asia and the Middle East. This makes me even more optimistic about the future of our relationship,” Sheikh bin Zayed had said in his official statement in January during the first strategic dialogue.
The UAE envoy had said then that the country stands with India on counter-terror cooperation, which had been on focus during Modi’s August 2015 visit. “We denounce extremism, terrorism, and work closely with other countries to counter-attack organizations and individuals that have been listed or proscribed,” he had said.