Retail tycoon Yusuff Ali, the chairman of Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group, has been issued with the UAE's first gold card permanent residency.
He becomes the first of 6,800 investors with total investments exceeding AED100 billion ($27 billion) to receive the gold card under a scheme announced last month by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship on Monday issued the gold card to the Indian business leader, according to state news agency WAM.
He was reportedly handed the gold card in Abu Dhabi by Brigadier Saeed Salem Al Shamsi, executive director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs.
Unlike the long-term visa of 5-10 years for businessmen and talented individuals, the gold card gives permanent residency to the holder.
The UAE's new permanent visa is intended to generate foreign investment and attract top engineers, scientists, and star students.
It is the first such scheme in the Gulf, where foreigners are generally only given limited duration residence permits under the "kafala" sponsorship system.
Foreigners account for 90 percent of the population of around nine million in the UAE, the Arab world's second-largest economy which has seen rapid development in recent years.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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