Abu Dhabi: The UAE will open three new consular offices in India soon, the UAE Embassy in New Delhi has announced. The new offices in Chandigarh, Chennai and Hyderabad will help Indians in those regions to get UAE visas easily as they can avoid travelling to the existing three consular offices in distant cities, the embassy said in an email on Thursday in response to a Gulf News enquiry.
The embassy has also launched a mobile application to serve both Emiratis and Indians during their travel in India and the UAE. It will offer Emiratis emergency assistance during travel in India. Indians can get information on visa and attestation from the app. “The app is more like a map having key destinations along with proper guidance to solve any problems [during travel,” said Dr Ahmad Al Banna, the UAE Ambassador to India.
The initiatives reflect the growing bilateral relations with high-level engagements including a reported upcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE. As Gulf News exclusively reported on October 2, Modi is likely to visit the UAE early next year. Although no dates have been officially announced, a section of Indian media reported, quoting diplomatic sources, Modi will have a two-day visit in February.
It will be Modi’s second visit to the UAE after his maiden visit in August 2015, which was an Indian prime minister’s official visit after more than three decades. Modi’s visit and a reciprocal state visit of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India in February 2016 elevated the friendly relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership. Shaikh Mohammad again visited India as the chief guest on Indian Republic Day on January 26 this year. He was the most prominent Arab leader in recent years to be invited as the chief guest, after the late King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia in 2006.
The embassy said its mobile application with the name of the UAE Embassy, New Delhi is available on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. For Emiratis, a service called Twajudi in the app will extend assistance in the event of loss of passport etc during travel.
Al Banna said the app will help 2.8 million Indians living in the UAE, especially most of the blue-collar workers, with necessary information for them.
Opening of the new three consular offices will take the total number of the UAE consular offices in India to six. The UAE opened its new Consulate General at Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the southern Indian state of Kerala, in October 2016. It was the UAE’s third diplomatic mission in India after the embassy in New Delhi and the Consulate General in Mumbai.