LuLu Group chairman Yousuf Ali M.A. was the first in Abu Dhabi to receive the Gold Card residency visa. Apart from the investors who qualify for 10-year visas, entrepreneurs and special talents will be entitled to five-year visas. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The UAE ‘Gold Card’ includes three broad categories of five and 10-year residency permits, a top official clarified to Gulf News.

The official clarification comes in the wake of queries raised by several Gulf News readers after some prominent businessmen claimed they had received the Gold Card, while others said they had been issued the 10-year visa.

Lieutenant Ahmad Al Dallal, Deputy Director of the Government Communication Department at the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, said the ‘Gold Card’ encompassed three categories as per decree No. 56 of 2018 regarding regulation of residency permits for investors, entrepreneurs and special talents issued by the Council of Ministers.

Investors investing at least Dh10 million would qualify for 10-year visas, while entrepreneurs and special talents would be entitled to five-year residency. 

The first recipients of these visas were unveiled last month and include 6,800 expatriates from over 70 countries with combined investments in the UAE totalling Dh100 billion.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the rolling out of the first batch of visas late last month.

“Throughout history, the UAE opened its doors to millions of people looking to pursue their dreams and better their lives. The Gold Card is our way to welcome all those seeking to be part of the UAE’s success story and making it a second home,” said Shaikh Mohammad.

Indian businessmen Vasu Shroff, chairman of the Regal Group of Companies, Azad Moopen of the Aster group and Khushi Khatwani, managing director of the Khushi Group of Companies and Al Nisr Cinema Film Company LLC, were among the first to receive their 10-year residency visas.

This was followed by Danube Group chairman Rizwan Sajan; Lulu Group chairman M.A. Yousuf Ali; ITL Cosmos Group chairman Ram Buxani; Pure Gold Group chairman Firoz Merchant and VPS Healthcare chairman Dr Shamsheer Vayayil, among others.

Also read

“It is really a very good initiative for investors who bring up the economy,” said Regal Group boss Shroff. “This will encourage more investors to make investments here.”

Sajan said: “The 10-year visa is a reaffirmation of the UAE government’s appreciation of our efforts. We have all the infrastructure in place for a business to thrive in the UAE and with the necessary support from the government we can expect a spike in the growth of the economy.”

Vayayil added: “This programme will certainly result in an increase of inventions and creating a sustainable environment for entrepreneurs that will spur additional job creation and boost competitiveness.”

As well as business leaders and investors, the 10-year visa programme is also open for scientists and researchers, with 20 scientists having received the 10-year visa in January.