Indian businessman Yusuff Ali, Chairman and Managing Director of Lulu Group, received the first residency “Golden Card” in Abu Dhabi from Brig Saeed Al Shamsi, executive director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs.
The Abu Dhabi-based Indian tycoon is worth USD4.7 billion (AED17.26 billion) and ranked the richest expat in UAE, according to Forbes magazine’s 2019 list of billionaires.
About 6,800 expatriates will benefit from the scheme under the first round of applications. The ‘Golden Card’ scheme is open to investors and exceptional talents such as doctors, engineers, scientists, students and artists.
Foreign residents in the UAE are usually given limited duration residence permits under a sponsorship system.
The announcement regarding the Golden Card scheme was made by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of UAE and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai last month on his Twitter handle.
“We launched a new Golden Card system to grant permanent residency to investors and exceptional doctors, engineers, scientists and artists. The first batch of 6,800 investors with Dh100 billion worth of investments will be granted the Golden Card,” he tweeted.
“The permanent residency Golden Card will be granted to exceptional talents and everyone who positively contributes to the success story of the UAE. We want them to be permanent partners in our journey. Residents are an indispensable part of our country,” he added.
The move came as a huge sigh of relief for the millions of Non-Resident Indians who have been living and working in the UAE for decades but never had any hope of getting permanent residency like in other countries.
Many Indian businessmen were awarded the long-term visa ranging from five to 10 years which is meant for investors, entrepreneurs, specialised talents and researchers in the field of science and technology and outstanding students.
Dr Azad Moopen, chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, along with his wife Naseera Azad were awarded the 10-year visa by the UAE authorities.
“It is a privilege to receive the long-term visa as an acknowledgement of our efforts in the business front in UAE focusing on the healthcare sector of the country. This gesture reinforces our commitment to UAE with more projects under Aster & Medcare,” said Dr Moopen.
Starting from a single clinic in Dubai in 1987, Aster DM Healthcare now has 24 hospitals, 116 clinics and 219 pharmacies.
In addition to this, Danube Group chairman Rizwan Sajan also got the 10-year visa. Six of his family members had also received the long-term visa.
Two other Indian businessmen to receive long-term visas were Vasudev Shamdas Shroff, Regal Group chairman and Khushi Khatwani, owner of Khushi Jewellers. They got their 10-year UAE visas stamped on their passports on May 21.