Indian Prime Minister Modi Inaugurates first Hindu Temple in UAE – South Asia Time

Indian Prime Minister Modi Inaugurates first Hindu Temple in UAE

 February 15, 2024  

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has marked a historic moment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by inaugurating the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi during his two-day visit to the country. The temple, built on a 27-acre plot donated by the UAE government, stands as a symbol of the strong ties between India and the UAE.

The construction of the temple was announced during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UAE in 2018, and its completion underscores the growing relationship between the two nations. Analysts suggest that the inauguration of the temple may also serve to bolster the Hindu nationalist agenda ahead of the upcoming general elections in India.

The BAPS Hindu Mandir, run by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, is constructed using traditional techniques and materials, including pink sandstone from Rajasthan and white Italian marble. With dimensions of 108ft in height, 262ft in length, and 180ft in width, the temple stands as a majestic symbol of Hindu spirituality and cultural heritage.

The temple inauguration comes on the heels of Prime Minister Modi’s recent dedication of a grand temple to Hindu god Ram in Ayodhya, India. This move has drawn attention to the government’s efforts to promote Hindu values and sentiments.

India and the UAE share a close relationship, with $85bn in bilateral trade and significant investments between the two countries. The signing of a bilateral investment treaty and a comprehensive economic partnership agreement during Modi’s visit further solidifies this partnership, focusing on areas such as energy security, trade, and digital infrastructure development.

During his visit, Prime Minister Modi also addressed the Indian community in Abu Dhabi, expressing gratitude to the UAE president for the land allotment for the temple. The temple inauguration not only strengthens cultural ties but also underscores the significance of the Indian diaspora in the UAE.

Prime Minister Modi’s participation in the World Government Summit further highlights India’s commitment to global cooperation and diplomacy. As the temple doors open to devotees in Abu Dhabi, it signifies a new chapter in the relationship between India and the UAE, rooted in shared values and mutual respect.