This post was originally published on 20 October 2016.
The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) second consulate general office was opened in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, on Wednesday evening.
Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam inaugurated the building in Manacaud junction of Thiruvananthapuram.
Visa, attestation services for South Indian states
The consulate, which can facilitate attestation and visa for around 700 people daily , will also be extending services to neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
Currently, all those proceeding to the UAE from south India have to get their educational certificates and other documents certified by the UAE embassy in New Delhi or consulate in Mumbai.
At present, the UAE has three diplomatic missions in India including the embassy in New Delhi.
Among those who were present on the occasion were Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor, consul general Jamal Hussein Al Zaabi, and Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Department vice-chairman and LuLu Group MD MA Yousuf Ali.
The UAE delegation was led by Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mohammed Mir Abdullah Al Raisi. He hoisted the UAE flag at the Consulate.
Diplomat hails contributions by the Indian community
Al Raisi pointed out the crucial contributions made by the Indian community, most of whom have come from Kerala, which support economic development in both the countries.
Assistant Under-Secretary for Consular Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ahmed Elham Al Dhaheri and Ambassador of the UAE to India Dr Ahmed Abdulrahman Al Banna also attended the event.
The UAE is the fifth country, after Maldives, Germany, Russia and Sri Lanka, and the first Gulf country to set up a consulate in Kerala.
The UAE government decided to set up the office here as a significant majority of Indian expatriates in the UAE hails from Kerala.
Terming the newly established consulate as a milestone in the long-standing friendly relations with the UAE, the state governor said about 70% of 2.6 million Indians working in different professions in the UAE were Keralite