The contributions of Keralites are vital for the UAE economy, said Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister for Tolerance, on Saturday. The contributions of Keralites are vital for the UAE economy, said Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister for Tolerance, on Saturday. "Though people from 200 nations work in our country, Keralites stand out with their tolerance, entrepreneurship, intelligence, knowledge, skill and hardwork. They are quick to smile and exhibit joyful spirit. They contribute immensely to the development of the UAE," he said while speaking at the inaugural function of LuLu International Convention Centre here. Bahrain Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla al Khalifa said the bilateral relationship of Bahrain and India are based on deep understanding and respect. "Bahrain and Kerala share a long standing partnership and friendship. The role played by the people of India in general and Keralites in particular for the development of Bahrain is appreciable," he said. Union Minister for Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam said there has been a steep rise in tourist arrival in India recently. The number of foreign tourists' arrival crossed the 10-million mark last year. While the global tourism sector grew by 5 per cent in 2017, India witnessed a growth of 15.2 per cent. The income from tourism sector stood at $27 billion, which is equivalent to `1.80 lakh crore, he said. Appreciating the initiative to establish a world-class convention centre in Kochi, Kannanthanam said India needs hundreds of such convention centres and hotels. Former chief ministers V S Achuthanandan and Oommen Chandy, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, Ministers Kadakampally Surendran and V S Sunil Kumar, BJP spokesperson Shanavas Hussain, Karnataka minister D K Sivakumar, MPs PK Kunhalikutty, K V Thomas and Jose K Mani, Kerala Congress leader K M Mani, S Sarma MLA and others participated. Actors Mammootty and Mohanlal also attended the inaugural ceremony. Later, Mohanlal celebrated his wedding anniversary along with his family at Hotel Hyatt.