'Marhaba NaMo': 10 developments on PM's big Dubai speech tonight
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will today address a massive Indian diaspora at a huge stadium in Dubai on the second day of his trip to the United Arab Emirates.
Here are the 10 latest developments on his trip:
- The cricket stadium where the PM will talk at 9 pm IST tonight can hold 40,000 people. Organizers said an additional 15,000 people will be seated outside with food stalls, DJs and video walls where the speech will be broadcast.
- Gates to the stadium will open at 3 pm. Some 2.6 million Indians live and work in the UAE, according to Indian embassy figures. The embassy estimates about 60 percent of those are blue-collar workers.
- The PM's speech will be preceded by a cultural programme that starts at 6.30 pm and features a line-up of international artistes, according to organizers.
- About 200 workers broke into applause when Mr. Modi arrived at an indoor basketball court yesterday at a large labour camp in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi. The PM chatted with the workers, enquiring about the place and their welfare and jobs, but made no comments to the media.
- The agenda for his address, expected to be broadcast on local radio stations, is " to convey that the safety, security and welfare conditions for Indian workers should not be ignored," a senior Indian government official.
- In November, India launched a campaign for higher wages for its workers in the Gulf states. Indian diplomats raised the minimum salaries they recommend because of higher living costs.
- On Sunday, the PM toured the main mosque in Abu Dhabi, in what is being sent as a strong message of his commitment to religious freedom and communal harmony back at home.
- Dressed in a cream-coloured kurta with an orange and white stole, the PM posed for a selfie with the ministers who accompanied him to the mosque.
- PM Modi's two-day visit to Abu Dhabi is the first by an Indian Prime Minister since Indira Gandhi's trip in 1981.
- He will seek to engage Abu Dhabi, one of the richest sovereign wealth funds in the world, to invest in India as well as expand cooperation in the energy sector. Abu Dhabi accounts for 9 percent of India's energy needs and India wants to increase that.