Indian businessman Ram Buxani gets long-term residency visa from UAE Image Credit: SUPPLIED

Dubai: Another Indian businessman from Dubai gets 10-year residency visa. Joining the band-wagon of entrepreneurs receiving long-term residency permits in the country is leading Indian businessman Dr. Ram Buxani. Buxani, chairman of ITL Cosmos Group. In a telephone interview with Gulf News, Buxani confirmed he, along with his wife Veena Buxani, had been given the visas.

Who is he?

Buxani is regarded a stalwart, someone who helped shape the city in the late 50s and 60s. The multi-millionaire who left India in 1959 to come and work in Dubai literally had no money or savings to his credit. He started his career fresh in Dubai and the rest is history as they say.

Thanks to his hard-work and the support he received from the UAE government and the Indian community, Buxani was able to rise up to a successful entrepreneur.

Buxani long term visa
Ram Buxani and his wife display their passports with the 10-year UAE visa stamp Image Credit: Supplied

His estimated personal net worth stands at more than Dh300 million or $81 million. The company he owns, ITL, is estimated to be worth $250 million or Dh920 million.

Given that he was an international trade finance expert with six decades of experience, Buxani's name was picked by Forbes Middle East as one of the top Indian leaders from Middle East in 2014, 2016 and 2017. He was also awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ in 2017.

Buxani said he received a call from the office of Major-General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, director-general of GDRFA about bringing his passport for the long-term visa stamp. On Sunday (June 2), the senior official of GDRFA met Buxani at the Al Manara Centre – Dubai Municipality building on Shaikh Zayed Road.

Buxani Visa
“I am honoured and feel immense gratitude for this. The good news is coming to other investors who have put their faith in the UAE and its government." - Ram Buxani Image Credit: Supplied

“I am honoured and feel immense gratitude for this. The good news is coming to other investors who have put their faith in the UAE and its government. Dubai is home to me and my family. We have seen the city grow. We are fortunate to receive this long-term residency.”

From INR 125 to millions

Buxani recalled how his first job in Dubai was for a salary of INR 125 per month. “Back in 1959, the Indian rupee was the currency used. The perks included food, accommodation, one hair-cut and two movie tickets in a month, and guess what – a shaving allowance too! The shaving allowance took care of the cost of razor blades, shaving cream and an after-shave lotion.”

It is from that meagre point that he rose to becoming a multi-millionaire and a respected businessman in the UAE. “That is why getting this visa is that much more special for me,” Buxani told Gulf News.

Gold card

The long-term visa issuance is part of a series of initiatives announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Another initiative announced was the gold card, a permanent residency scheme for investors, entrepreneurs, specialised professionals, researchers and outstanding students residing in the UAE. Benefits of the gold card also extend to the recipients’ immediate family members such as spouse and children, who will also be provided with the permanent residency status.

On Monday (June 3), the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship issued its first gold card to business leader M.A. Yousuf Ali. Ali, chairman and managing director of LuLu Group. Brigadier Saeed Salem Al Shamsi, executive director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs handed him the gold card residency. He is the first among 6,800 residents to receive the permanent residency.

Last week Danube Chairman, Rizwan Sajan also received his 10-year-long-term visa. A week prior, on May 22 two other businessmen Vasu Shroff, chairman – Regal Group of companies and Khushi Khatwani, managing director, Khushi Group of companies and Al Nisr Cinema Film received their long-term visas as well.

To qualify for the 10-year visa, investors must have a public investment of not less than Dh10 million. For the five-year visa, an investor’s total investment in real estate should not be less than Dh5 million. The long-term visas are applicable to the applicant and his family.