UAE to be first Gulf state to witness ‘RuPay card’ launch during Modi’s visit

ABU DHABI: The UAE will be the first country in the Middle East to witness the launch of RuPay card, “an Indian indigenous equivalent of Mastercard or Visa,” during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this weekend, a top Indian diplomat told the official Emirates News Agency, WAM.

“A Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to establish a technology interface between the payment platforms in India and UAE, would be exchanged between the National Payments Corporation of India and UAE’s Mercury Payments Services. This will enable the RuPay card to be used at point-of-sale terminals across the UAE,” Navdeep Singh Suri, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, said in an interview on Wednesday.

“The UAE is the largest and most vibrant business hub in the region. It hosts the largest Indian community, receives the largest number of Indian tourists and has the largest trade with India. By becoming the first country in the region to introduce the RuPay card, we expect that each of these elements of tourism, trade and the Indian diaspora will benefit,” he explained. India had already launched RuPay card in only two foreign countries – Singapore and Bhutan, the envoy said.

“We will have substantive bilateral discussions to further deepen our relationship across multiple sectors during the Prime Minister’s visit,” Suri said.

Ahead of Modi’s visit, the Indian Embassy has completed establishing the system to issue India’s newly introduced 5-year multiple entry tourism and business visa for Emiratis. “We are required under our regulations to obtain biometric data of the Emirati applicants on the first occasion and I am happy to say that we have now established these systems across the BLS Service Centres in UAE [the Indian Embassy’s outsourced centres for passport and visa services],” the envoy revealed.

A commemorative stamp of Mahatma Gandhi that would be released on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary during the Modi’s visit, is another exceptional gesture by the UAE Government to acknowledge the role of Mahatma Gandhi in India’s freedom struggle and the power of his ideas globally, he explained.

Modi will receive the Zayed Medal, the UAE’s highest civilian award, during the visit. “We deeply appreciate the decision of the sagacious leadership of UAE [in this regard],” the ambassador said.

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