Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is on a four-day visit to three West Asian countries, on Sunday witnessed the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the first Hindu temple in the capital of the UAE, home to over three million people of Indian origin.
PM @narendramodi witnessed laying of foundation stone for the BAPS Swaminarayan temple on Abu Dhabi - Dubai highway! The first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi being built on a generous gift of land by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi reflects UAE's commitment to tolerance and harmony. pic.twitter.com/3vDOBp3RmG— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) February 11, 2018
Addressing Indian community at Dubai Opera House, Modi said,''I thank the gulf countries which provided almost 30 Lakh people from India a home like environment, away from home, here. I want to thank His Highness Crown Price on behalf of 125 crore Indians for the grand temple which will be constructed.''
''India's jump in World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Rankings from 142 to 100 is unprecedented. But we are not satisfied with this, we want to improve even more. We will do whatever it takes to achieve it,'' Modi said in while addressing the Indian Community in Dubai Opera House.
''Even the poor in India know that demonetisation was the right move. Even the poor in India know that #demonetisation was the right move. I promise to you that we will achieve all our dreams ahead of time,'' Modi said.
Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), is a socio-spiritual Hindu organisation set up in 1907 that runs more than 1,100 temples and cultural compounds around the world. The temple will incorporate all aspects and features of a traditional Hindu temple as part of a fully functional, social, cultural and spiritual complex.
He will also visit Oman, the second leg of his three-nation tour.
It is the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East, said a spokesperson from the BAPS. Calling it a historic event, Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri said that the temple will come up on 55,000 square metres of land.
Earlier in the day, Modi visited the Wahat-Al-Karama (Martyrs' Memorial) and paid tribute to the martyred war heroes of the UAE.
On Saturday night, Modi arrived at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. He was welcomed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
This is PM Modi's second visit to the United Arab Emirates in last two years. The Prime Minister will on February 12 depart for New Delhi.
This comes a day after the Prime Minister met the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and held wide-ranging talks with him.