UAE Crown Prince  Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al NahyanReuters

The first state visit of Abu Dhabi crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan to India from Feb. 10 to 12 was eclipsed by the free fall in Indian stock markets that saw the benchmark index Sensex registering its highest weekly loss in seven years.

Also, details of agreements signed between the two sides were not enough and were only in the form of tweets by India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

The seven agreements were signed across various fields, though the quantum or nature of cooperation was not available.

Swarup also tweeted that an agreement would be signed between India's Exim Bank and Dubai Economic Council in Mumbai.

The central banks of the two countries — the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates — agreed on entering a bilateral Currency Swap Agreement subject to the two governments, according to a RBI press statement issued on Feb. 12.

Businessmen who were part of the of the delegation hailed al-Nahyan's visit, saying India being the fastest-growing economy of the world offers many business and investment opportunities.

They spoke on the sidelines of a formal interaction between the UAE businessmen and the UAE government delegation in Mumbai on Friday. The "Business Forum" meet was inaugurated by Ahmed Hareb Al Falahi, Commercial and Trade Attache at the UAE embassy in India.

Hani Rashid Al Hamili, Secretary-General of the Dubai Economic Council, was quoted as saying by ANI: "India represents a strategic hub for the UAE, especially Dubai given the mutual trade."

Nora bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council, told Emirates News Agency (WAM) in a statement the visit "reflects the interest of the two sides to follow up on the resolutions of the two meetings to further strengthen the relations between the two countries". 

Ahmed Al Sayigh, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), said the visit would help the two countries at a time when India is growing at a fast pace, offering scope for investment and trade between the two countries.

Mohammad Al-Mubarak, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, said given the large number of Indian visitors in the UAE, especially Dubai, he was interested in the Indian market.

Bilateral trade between India and the UAE was estimated at $60 billion for the current year, up from $33 billion last financial year, according to a MEA briefing on Feb 10. The two sides intend to scale up the bilateral trade by 60 percent, it added.

The UAE is among the top 10 investors in India since 2000, with a cumulative FDI of $3.3 billion and about $5 billion in portfolio investments. 

al-Nahyan's visit to India comes after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the UAE in August last year.