Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to open his 2022 foreign visit calendar by trip to trusted allies United Arab Emirates and Kuwait early next month.
While PM Modi will visit Dubai 2020 Expo, the real purpose of the visit is to thank both the allies for standing with India during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic as well as taking care of the huge Indian diaspora in these two emirates. The UAE has no less than four million Indian passport carrying Indians and Kuwait has nearly one million Indian diaspora, who contribute to Indian economy through remittances as well as in times of need.
Even though the government is tight-lipped about the entire visit, PM Modi may travel to these two countries in the first 10 days of January 2022. Special emphasis is being paid to these two foreign trips as both nations are at the heart of India’s foreign policy towards Middle-East.
Since his first visit to UAE at the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in August 2015, PM Modi is totally focused on cementing ties with Abu Dhabi with foreign minister S Jaishankar returning from the UAE last Sunday. UAE is India’s third largest trade partner after US and China with the trade volumes touching over USD 60 billion. The January 2022 trip would be PM Modi’s fourth visit to the UAE, a sea change from the time that the last PM to visit the UAE was Indira Gandhi, 32 years before PM Modi.