This year’s Republic Day parade will see the guest of honour from our neighboring country Abu Dhabi, and he is none other than the Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Earlier, since Prime Minister Narendra Modi formed his government at the Centre, he invited US president Barack Obama for his first Republic Day as the Prime Minister of India. The message was clear: India wanted the best possible ties with the US.
Last year’s guest was French president François Hollande — another leader of the western world. But this year, in keeping with Modi’s new approach to India’s extended neighbourhood, particularly the Gulf region this year, the guest of honour is from the United Arab Emirates.
Here’s all you need to know about our chief guest
- Zayed Al Nahyan was studied at schools in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi until the age of 18.
- In 1979, he joined the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he trained in armour, helicopter flying, tactical flying and paratroops.
- In November 2003, his father Zayed bin Sultan appointed Sheikh Mohammed as Deputy Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
- After the death of his father, Al-Nayhan became Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in November 2004.
- He also serves as a special adviser to the President of the UAE, Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, his older brother.
- The crown prince is also the deputy supreme commander of the armed forces, and had visited India last year.
- Mohammed Bin Zayed is actively engaged in several projects targeted at increasing the welfare of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
- He has initiated projects in various areas, such as economic development, education and environmental protection.
- Sheikh Mohamed is married to Sheikha Salama Hamdan Al Nahyan, and has four sons and five daughters
- On January 25 upon his arrival, 14 agreements signed by India and the UAE, including one that elevates the bilateral relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, following delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
On January 25 upon his arrival, 14 agreements signed by India and the UAE, including one that elevates the bilateral relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, following delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
In a joint address to the media with visiting Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan following delegation-level talks, Modi said the United Arab Emirates was one of India’s “most valued partners and a close friend in an important region of the world”.
“We regard the UAE as an important partner in India’s growth story,” Modi said. “I particularly welcome the UAE’s interest in investing in India’s infrastructure sector.”
Stating that work was on to connect the institutional investors of the UAE with India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, he said the Gulf nation “can benefit by linking with our growth in manufacturing and services”.
Earlier in 2015, PM Modi went to the UAE, becoming the first Indian prime minister to do so in 34 years and set the stage for elevating relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.