Recently, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of United Arab Emirates Armed Forces Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan made a three day visit to India from January 24-26, 2017 where he attended the host country’s 68th Republic Day celebrations. The visit was significant in a number of ways. The occasion was used by the two countries to sign 14 bilateral agreements of cooperation in the fields of defence, cyberspace, technology, trade, investment, energy and agriculture. In addition to these agreements, both the countries while pledging their commitment to a “comprehensive strategic partnership for 21st century” also hoped that high level bilateral visits would translate into stronger ties between the two countries.
Apart from these agreements, the highest building in the world, Burj Khalifa in Dubai was also lit in the colours of Indian flag on the eve of the visit to express deep friendly relations that the two countries share.[i] UAE is one of India’s top trading partner with the total trade between the two countries amounting to some $ 70 billion[ii]. An Indian diaspora of over 2.8 million lives in UAE .[iii] India imports 70 per cent of crude oil from the Gulf countries. It is expected that by 2020, India will account for 5 per cent of global oil demand. It is precisely for this reason that both the countries have signed agreement on establishing a strategic oil reserve facility in Mangalore, Karnataka that would help India to store 36.87 million barrels of crude oil which can supply almost 10 days of the country’s daily oil demand. UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will store about 6 million barrels of oil at this particular facility.[iv]