Bollywood actor and humanitarian Sonu Sood, who recently received his UAE golden visa, described the distinction as an “humbling moment in his life”.
“I am very happy and humble. It’s the beginning of a new bond with the UAE. I have shot films such as ‘City Of Life’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda’ in the UAE and this honour just helps us cement our bond further,” said Sood over the phone to Gulf News. He also filmed ‘Happy New Year’ with Shah Rukh Khan in Dubai.
Sood, who has been at the forefront of humanitarian efforts during the pandemic in India, is the latest celebrity from India to have been bestowed the UAE golden visa. He has famously helped the poor and stranded students during the COVID-19 wave.
“I have been a regular visitor to the UAE in the last few years and I will be coming here more often now. I am grateful to the authorities for granting me this privilege,” said Sood.
The actor intends to visit Dubai towards the end of the month.
“I have always looked forward to visiting the UAE and my bond with this country will only grow from strength to strength,” he added.
Sood joins the likes of Varun Dhawan, Ranveer Singh, Sanjay Dutt, singer Sonu Nigam, and producer Boney Kapoor who have also been granted the same honour.
The actor is one of Bollywood’s most accessible actors with a strong body of work. He was hailed as a real-life hero during COVID-19 in India when he threw himself into humanitarian causes.
“If I sleep for an hour, it means I miss hundreds of distressed migrants who are stranded and desperate to reach their villages. I can sleep later, now is the time to act. It’s crazy out there,” said Sood in an earlier interview with Gulf News over the phone. The abrupt closure of many businesses meant that thousands of people were left jobless and with no means to return home and Sood helped them reach their villages during that tough time.