Prime Minister Narendra Modi will resume his engagements with the diaspora, a key highlight of his foreign tours, on the forthcoming visit to Palestine, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman, after a break of four months.
Officials said that Modi will address the overseas Indians in Dubai and Muscat on February 11. He will arrive in the UAE after a five-hour visit to Palestine, becoming the first Indian PM to visit the state.
The first event will be in the morning at the Dubai Opera where Modi will interact with 2,000 Indians.
The next event in Muscat will see an attendance of 20,000.
“The Dubai Opera has a capacity to accommodate 2,000 people. The number is less this time because the Prime Minister had a bigger event when he visited the UAE the last time. The bigger event will be in Muscat on the same day in the evening,” said an official.
The UAE is home to more than 23.5 million Indians, making them the largest expatriate community in the Gulf nation. Of this around 20% are professionals and over 60% blue-collar workers.
Another official said there is interest in the diaspora event in Muscat.
“We had closed the registration for participants and reopened it on public demand. We expect a gathering of 20,000,” said an official.
Manmohan Singh in 2008 was the last Indian PM to visit Oman.
“Unlike Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in the United States or the United Kingdom, we in the Gulf are more attached to India because we will have to go back and settle there. We don’t get to see the Indian PM often here,” said Sujit Mohan, an Indian engineer from Muscat.
Oman has 8,00,749 Indians, including 6,92,427 professionals.
While in the UAE, Modi will also address the sixth World Government Summit scheduled between February 11 and 13.
India is the guest country for this meet of ministers, CEOs, innovators, business leaders and academics and students. The UAE was the first Gulf country Modi visited as Prime Minister in August 2015.
Modi had also addressed the Indian diaspora in Myanmar in September.