ABU DHABI // India’s new ambassador to the UAE is expected to take office next month.
Navdeep Singh Suri, who is currently the Indian high commissioner in Canberra, joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1983.
He served in India’s diplomatic missions in Cairo, Damascus, Washington DC, Dar es Salaam and London as well as India’s consul general in Johannesburg.
He has also headed the West Africa and public diplomacy divisions at the Ministry of External Affairs.
Prior to his current position in Australia, he was India’s ambassador to Egypt.
He received recognition and two awards for his innovative use of social media in public diplomacy.
Mr Suri, who also speaks Arabic and French, graduated with a Masters degree in economics. He has written on India’s Africa policy, public diplomacy and the IT outsourcing industry.
His English translations of his grandfather Nanak Singh's classic Punjabi novels were published by Penguin as The Watchmaker and by Harper Collins as A Life Incomplete.
He will be accompanied by his wife, Mani, who also has a degree in economics and is now a graphic designer and potter.
They have two daughters, a journalist and an environmentalist.
More than 2.5 million Indian expatriates live in the UAE and more than a million travel from the subcontinent to the country for trade and tourism every year.
India is the UAE’s second largest trading partner and the UAE is India’s third.
Last year, Narendra Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit the UAE in almost 34 years.
He met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to discuss a number of topics, including trade, investment and energy.
Earlier this year India’s defence minister, Manohar Parrikar, visited the UAE to bolster security ties and explore the potential of trade in military equipment.
Mr Parrikar’s trip marked the first-ever bilateral visit by an Indian defence minister to the UAE.
Analysts called it a sign of how the relationship between the two countries had strengthened since Modi took power two years ago.