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Ramesh Shukla receiving the Golden Visa from GDRFA (Dubai) officials

Dubai: Well-known photographer and artist Ramesh Shukla has become the latest recipient of the golden residency visa.

Receiving the 10-year visa from General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai officials last week, the Dubai-based Shukla said, “I am deeply honoured and humbled receiving the prestigious UAE Gold Card residency visa. It’s a very proud and emotional moment in my life.”

He said, “UAE has been my home for more than 50 years now. I express my sincere gratitude to the leadership of the Government of UAE for recognising my contribution to the history of the country.”

Shukla, who has captured the history of the country in some of the best photographs of his times, described his presence in the UAE as being “in the right place at the right time”.

Among his most talked about collections is a series of 130 black and white photographs spanning the critical years in the history of the UAE (1965-76), which present a unique visual record of the country on the threshold of far-reaching change.

The ‘royal photographer’, as he is often referred to, came to the UAE in 1960.

He has taken several photographs of the Rulers of the UAE which adorn palaces and private collections. His works appear on UAE postage stamps and currency notes as well.

Shukla has received several awards, including a gold plate presented to him on the 26th Accession Day of Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE. The Etihad Museum showcases a permanent exhibition of his best historical photographic collections.

Who is eligible for Gold Visa?

The UAE started issuing long-term residence visas in May last year enabling foreign investors and talent to live and work in the UAE without a sponsor and with 100 per cent ownership of their business. Those investing at least Dh10 million, that isn’t loaned and has been retained for three years, qualify for the gold visa. It extends to business partners, who must also contribute Dh10 million, as well as spouse and children, one executive director and one adviser. Special talent includes researchers in the field of science and knowledge such as doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors, as well as creatives in the field of culture and art. The visa extends to the spouse and children. Within this category executive directors with bachelor degrees, five years experience in the UAE and a salary of Dh30,000 are eligible.