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Lulu group’s chairman M.A. Yusuff Ali Image Credit:

Riyadh: UAE-based retail giant Lulu group’s chairman M.A. Yusuff Ali has received Saudi Arabia’s Premium Residency Permit for Foreigners.

While the Saudi government’s Premium Residency Centre on Monday posted a video which showed the reaction of Yusuff Ali after obtaining the Premium Residency on Twitter, the company said he has become “the first Indian to receive the premium residency informally known as Saudi Green Card.”

In November 2019, Saudi Arabia granted 73 foreigners “premium” residency under a new programme to attract overseas investment by enabling selected people to buy property and do business without a Saudi sponsor.

The introduction of the Premium Residency comes as a part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reform plan, which was announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to boost the Saudi economy.

Yusuff Ali said in a statement, “Obviously a very proud and humbling moment in my life. This is a great honour not only for me but for the entire Indian expat community and I sincerely thank the HM the King Salman, HRH Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and the government of Saudi Arabia.

“I am sure this new permanent residency initiative will further boost Saudi Arabia’s image as one of the key investment and business hubs of the region as well as attract and retain new investors here.

“This initiative is targeting key investors and prominent personalities from various fields including sports, arts and culture, who have played a defining role in the nation building process,” Yusuffali added.

Lulu Group which owns and operates more than 35 hypermarkets and supermarkets in Saudi Arabia, including ARAMCO Commissaries and National Guards super stores.

In June 2019, Yusuff Ali had received the UAE’s Gold Card long-term residency visa. He was the first expat to receive the Gold Card in Abu Dhabi from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.