Monday, September 7, 2015

UAE allots Land for First Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi

The Government of India and the people of India are ecstatic over the decision made by the United Arab Emirates to allocate a piece of land for the construction of the first ever Hindu temple in the city of Abdu Dhabi. The prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, had earlier gone on a two day trip to the United Arab Emirates. Narendra Modi had tweeted on the social media platform twitter in which he was extremely thankful towards the United Arab Emirates Government, and had described this move as a great step. Currently there are two Hindu temples in Dubai as well as one Sikh Gurudwara in the city of Dubai, however there is no such thing in Abu Dhabi.

With the visit a while back, Narendra Modi had become the first Prime Minister of India to visit the country in 34 years. In his trip to Dubai, the Indian premier met with the crown prince of Abdu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The Indian premier’s visit is being seen as a vital step in the development and the flourishing of the trade relations between the United Arab Emirates and India. Additionally the allocation of land for a temple in the city of Abu Dhabi has laid the foundation which is needed to support the strategic vision employed by both of the nations.

The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates and has round about 2.6 million Indian expatriates living there. The Indian expatriate population makes up for a third of the total population in the United Arab Emirates, which actually outnumbers the total local Emirati population. The Indian remittances sent from the United Arab Emirates are estimated to be valued at $14 Billion. India is the second largest trading partner with the United Arab Emirates, and the United Arab Emirates is the third largest trading partner for India, right behind the United States and China. Last year the trade between the two countries is said to be valued at $ 60 Billion.

The Vice President of the Observer Research Foundation, a Delhi based think tank, Samir Saran, told Al Jazeera that the United Arab Emirates has gotten it right by the allocation of land for such a venture. He added that some people might view Indian Prime Minister Modi as pushing his own religious agenda by demanding land for a temple, however it is nothing like that and it is simply a case of a goodwill gesture.

In the July of 2013, The Times of India had reported, citing one source within the BAPS or Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha that a Muslim Businessman had donated a land comprising of five acres in the city of Abu Dhabi for the building of a temple. This move came after BAPS’ visit to the UAW on invitation of the invest AD group.

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