Indian origin Abu Dhabi-based business tycoon, LuLu Group chairman M.A. Yusuffali has become the first expat to get the exclusive Permanent Residency ‘Golden Card’, on Monday.
According to Forbes magazine;s 2019 list of billionaires, the Abu Dhabi-based Keralite tycoon is ranked the the richest expat in UAE who is worth $4.7 billion.
In a ceremony, the tycoon was honoured for his role in promoting economic growth in the country. Brigadier Saeed Salem Al Shamsi, Executive Director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Abu Dhabi, awarded the first permit to Ali, who is also Board Member of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, during the ceremony.
Commenting on the honour, the humble tycoon said:
‘Obviously a very proud and emotional moment in my life. UAE has been my home for more than 45 years now. Whatever I am today is thanks to this great country, which has given me more than what I can dream of.
To be the first one to receive this great honour is truly a very humbling experience, and I sincerely thank the visionary rulers of this great country. It is their far-sighted vision which has made UAE, one of the most safe, secure, tolerant and developed nations in the world.”
The ICA also communicates with investors and business leaders outside the country, to showcase the UAE’s economic and social advantages and consolidate its regional and international leadership in creating a suitable environment, through providing facilitation, ensuring freedom of movement, and helping investors and their families stay in the country, he added.
The first batch of 6,800 investors with Dh100 billion worth of investments will be granted the “Golden Card.”
The UAE Cabinet has approved the long-term visa system for expatriates announced by the country earlier this year, while also confirming the criteria that need to be met.
The UAE announced that it would grant five or 10-year residency visas to investors, entrepreneurs, specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields, and ‘outstanding’ students to “facilitate business and create an attractive and encouraging investment environment” in the country. The visa benefits also extend to the wider family (spouse and children).
In January, the government also granted the first batch of long-term visas to 20 scientists who were the winners and finalists of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.
The UAE has started issuing the permanent residency documents to select people earlier in May.