Dubai: Abu Dhabi-based Indian retail tycoon M A Yusuff Ali has become the first expat to get the UAE's first gold card permanent residency.
Unlike the long-term visa of 5-10 years for businessmen and talented individuals, the gold card gives permanent residency of the UAE to the holder.
The LuLu Group chairman, who was ranked the richest expat in UAE by the Forbes magazine, becomes the first of 6,800 investors with total investment exceeding USD 27 billion to receive the gold card under a scheme announced last month by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, the Khaleej Times reported.
The new initiative -- which aims at generating foreign investment and attracting top engineers, scientists and star students -- has identified 6,800 qualified expats from over 70 countries in the first phase.
Commenting on the honour, the Keralite billionaire said, "(It is) A very proud and emotional moment in my life...I am sure this new Gold Card permanent residency scheme aimed at key investors, who have played a defining role in the nation building process, will further boost UAE's image as one of key investment and business global hubs as well as attract and retain new investors here."