In the role of Prime Minister, I have traveled to the Gulf region several times before 2018. However, whenever I come here to the UAE, I feel a special attachment. Nearly 1.2 million non-resident Indians have found a home away from their homes in Dubai and across the UAE. For this, India is extremely grateful to the UAE and Dubai.
Dubai and the UAE are unmatched in its use of technology for development. Here the desert sands have been transformed into gold richness, a miracle that has come true. In today's Dubai, there is a vision behind the glory of the tall buildings reaching the sky and behind the imagination of the future. There is also resolution. Behind them are technology, innovation, and enterprise, which is visible in the Museum of Future. This is because the UAE has not only allowed successful experiments in technology to be confined to labs, but in everyday life: what I witnessed in Masdar is a win-win experience.
After several decades, India's relations with Gulf countries have become extremely deep, comprehensive, and vibrant. Today, our dynamics with the Gulf countries are not just confined to a buyer-seller relationship, but have become a true partnership. I was in Abu Dhabi and signed several agreements; one of them, the Lower Zakum Concession, is the first-ever investment of an Indian company in the upstream sector in the Middle East. The brighter aspect of the partnership has begun.
The Indian community not only sowed the seeds of its dreams along with the dreams of local people, but also with the same commitment by considering this place as its own home. India takes pride in that more than 3 million Indians living in Gulf countries, as they have become partners in the developmental journey of this region.
In the UAE, people were surprised when His Highness Crown Prince took the initiative to construct a Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi when I came here last time. I would like to express my gratitude to His Highness Crown Prince on behalf of all the 1.25 billion Indians. The construction of a temple is significant also in the form of a bridge of goodwill. We have been raised in a tradition in which a temple and a holy place is an agent of humanity, where a holy place is an agent of harmony. I believe this temple will be unique in terms of architecture, technology, and the message it sends. It will also be an opportunity to make the global community experience the mantra that we have followed to live our lives: the whole world is one family. And because of this, it will also become a medium for acquiring a unique Indian identity. I would like to tell all those who are related to the construction of the temple that the rulers of this place have shown a great deal of respect for India and have given so much respect to India's cultural traditions: it is now our responsibility not to leave any loose ends or commit any mistake.
In a way, a small India resides here. There is not even a single corner in this country where India is not represented. And that is why one can experience extremely well how rapidly India has been changing and the confidence with which 1.25 billion Indians have been moving ahead to realize their dreams.