Dubai: Two Indian business leaders in Dubai were issued 10-year UAE resident visas on Tuesday.
Vasu Shroff, chairman of the Regal Group of Companies, and Khushi Khatwani, managing director of the Khushi Group of Companies & Al Nisr Cinema Film, are the first Indians to benefit from the long-term visa scheme announced last year.
The 10-year visa scheme was rolled out in January and some Arab scientists and experts in the medical field were the first ones to receive it.
They received the visas stamped on their passports at the GDRFA headquarters in the presence of Major-General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, director-general of GDRFA Dubai.
“At about 11am today, I got a call from the office of Major-General Al Merri, inviting me to visit him. I went there at 1pm and within five minutes they issued the 10-year visa for me,” Shroff told Gulf News on Tuesday evening.
“It is really a very good initiative for the investors who bring up the economy. This will encourage more investors to make investments here. People from around the world are waiting for Expo 2020. With such encouragement from the government 2020 will prove we are one of the best countries in the world.”
The textile magnate said more Indian business leaders were expected to get the 10 year-residency, which is considered the first steps towards obtaining permanent residency.
“We are proud of and thankful to the UAE and its rulers,” said Shroff, a former winner of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, India’s highest award for non-resident Indians (NRIs),.
Khatwani, who is known for his decades-old businesses in the fields of movies and jewellery, said the move gives a sense of more belonging to the country.
“You feel relaxed and it becomes hassle-free. This will offer more convenience and comfort to investors,” he said.
Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul welcomed the move and congratulated the first two Indian business leaders who received the long-term visas.
“I am very happy about this. It is a great step from the government of UAE. People who had to renew visas every two or three years are getting a longer duration. That will make life easy for prominent Indian businessmen and investors here. And I am happy that two of our friends got it today.”