India - UAE bilateral meet in Abu Dhabi

France’s President Emmanuel Macron is in India as the chief guest of the country’s Republic Day celebrations as it marks 75 years of being a constitutional republic.

Over the years, various world leaders have been accorded the honour of being the chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. Foreign policy, culture, and tradition, along with political, economic, strategic factors play a key role in choosing a chief guest.

The UAE’s President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was accorded the honour of being the chief guest in 2017, during his time as the country’s crown prince. His presence, as a representative of the UAE, highlighted the strong bonds of friendship – age-old cultural, religious and economic ties between the two nations.

The India-UAE bilateral has flourished since the accession of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan as the ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966 and subsequently with the creation of the UAE Federation in 1971. Since then, both sides have gone on to become strong partners – in trade and people-to-people ties.


The leaders of India and the UAE have historically enjoyed a close relationships with multiple bilateral and multilateral meetings in recent year. Most recently, Sheikh Mohamed was in India to participate in the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, as an invitee of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. His presence underscored the success in trade the two nations have enjoyed since the signing of the UAE-India comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) in 2022.

The following statistics look at the performance of the trade deal in its first year.


The CEPA was agreed upon and implemented to promote cross-border trade and investment. The agreement covers a significant amount (up to 95 per cent) of originating goods that were previously subject to customs duties on both sides.

The two countries envisage that bilateral trade in goods will reach over $100bn and trade in services will reach $15bn within five years, according to India’s ambassador to the UAE, Sunjay Sudhir.