The UAE government announced it will allot land for a temple in Abu Dhabi, the first in the capital of the emirates, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi began the visit to the Gulf nation.
There are two temples in Dubai, one dedicated to Lord Shiva and another to Krishna, but there is none in Abu Dhabi, the second most populous city in the United Arab Emirates and the largest of the seven member emirates.
“A long wait for the Indian community ends. On the occasion of PM's visit, UAE Govt decides to allot land for building a temple in Abu Dhabi,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
Modi thanked the UAE’s leadership for the “landmark” decision.
There are nearly 2.6 million Indians in the UAE, constituting 30% of the total population.
Organisations such as the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha have held ‘satsang’ assemblies for Indians living in the UAE over the years. During a visit in 2013, sadhus of the organisation conducted satsang assemblies in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al-Ain, Sharjah and Ajman.
When Modi arrived in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his five brothers were at the airport to receive the Prime Minister.
“I deeply appreciate the kind gesture of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who received me at the airport,” Modi tweeted. The Prime Minister will have a meeting with the crown prince on Monday.
Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the UAE in 34 years, visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque where he was greeted by a large group of Indians. He also visited the ICAD Residential City where he interacted with Indian migrant labourers and discussed their working conditions.