HIS Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of United Arab Emirates visits India as the Chief Guest for the 2017 Republic Day celebrations from January 24 to 26, 2017. He’s accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Ministers, senior officials and captains of industry.
During the visit, the dignitary met with Rashtrapatiji Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansari and had discussions with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on bilateral, regional and global issues of common interest.
This is the second visit of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to India since February 2016. Following the landmark visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to UAE in August 2015, the two countries have agreed to elevate the mutually beneficial relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
India and UAE enjoy warm, close and multi-faceted relations underpinned by cultural, religious and economic linkages. The two countries have been amongst each other’s top trading partners with a well-balanced bilateral trade of about US$ 50 billion in 2015-16. UAE is among the top investors in India in terms of foreign direct investments. It contributes significantly to India’s energy security and is the fifth largest supplier of crude oil to India in 2015 to 2016.
About 2.6 million strong and vibrant Indian community forms the largest expatriate group in UAE. Their positive and well-appreciated contribution in the development of their host country has been an important anchor of our excellent bilateral engagement.
Since 1950, India has been hosting head of state or government of another country as the state guest of honor for Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. During 1950–1954, Republic Day celebrations were organized at different venues (like Irwin Stadium, Kingsway, Red Fort and Ramlila Grounds). It was only starting 1955 when the parade in its present form was organised at Rajpath. The guest country is chosen after a deliberation of strategic, economic and political interests. During 1950s to 1970s, a number of NAM and Eastern Bloc countries were hosted by India. In 1968 and 1974, India played host to two countries on the same Republic Day.