Why is UAE’s Burj Khalifa showing Indian colors?
The interface of Dubai’s iconic landmark was lightened up on Wednesday with the colors of the Indian national flag - saffron, white and green.
Emaar Properties, the Dubai-based Indian company behind the tower’s development, will present these visuals at Burj Khalifa also tonight, using the latest LED technology associated with the Dubai Fountain shows.
Emaar Properties enjoys a strong presence in India, which is one of the world’s most important markets for the company. It has recently restructured its operations in the country to promote current projects and explore new development opportunities.
UAE’s ruler Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is also in New Delhi as the chief guest of India’s Republic Day celebrations. Sheikh Nahyan is leading a high-profile delegation, including ministers, senior officials and entrepreneurs.
In past few years, Modi with his multiple visits has gained UAE’s growing closeness to India.
As part of his hyperactive foreign policy, the Indian PM had visited UAE in August 2015 as his first destination in the Gulf region. While he continues to oscillate about his visit to Israel, Modi has since visited Saudi Arabia and Qatar launching a fresh chapter in India’s engagement with Gulf Cooperation Council.
As Moody’s Investors Service report shows, India gets 52.1 per cent of its remittances from these Gulf nations. Of about 6 million expatriate Indians in the region, over 2.6 million stay in UAE alone making it next only to the US that hosts 3.2 million overseas Indians.
Reflecting the growing weightage of the Gulf region, the share of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries in India’s total exports has moved up from 11 per cent in 2005 to 16 per cent in 2015.
Among six GCC countries - Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar - the UAE stands as the second biggest destination for India’s exports (after the US) and is the fourth largest source of India’s imports.
India mainly imports crude oil from UAE but India’s exports to UAE have diversified beyond pearls and precious stones that once constituted over one-third of its exports. They now include space technologies and defence exports.
The two have also expanded their joint military training and a UAE military contingent will be on display in the Republic Day Parade. The India-UAE combined military exercises called Desert Eagle, resumed after a gap of eight years, promises to herald the next stage of their military ties.
Last year, the Burj Khalifa was lit up in Green and White for Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day.
UAE-Pakistan relations have also been flourishing. The bilateral trade volume jumped from $7.6 billion (Dh27.9bn) in 2012 to $10 billion in 2013. Reports say there is a big potential to further enhance business relations.
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