This honour to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), of which Abu Dhabi is the biggest constituent, and is home to around two million expatriate Indians comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to it in August last year.
The Prime Minister addressed a huge diaspora rally at the Dubai Cricket Stadium during the visit. The GCC comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
This year, Modi visited Saudi Arabia where he was conferred with that Gulf nation's highest civilian honour, the King Abdulaziz Sash, and then Iran soon thereafter. The last time a leader from the Gulf region graced the Republic Day as chief guest was when then King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud visited India in 2006.