Didier Drogba with Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Marri at the GDRFA headquarters in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast superstar Didier Drogba has received the Gold Card residency in the UAE.

Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Marri, Director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA), welcomed Drogba at GDRFA’s headquarters to present the gold card visa.

As one of Chelsea’s greatest, Drogba, 42, won four English Premier League titles and a Champions League crown in a decorated eight-years career with the London club.

Big names from sports who have been granted the UAE gold card include Cristiano Ronaldo, Figo, Paul Pogba, Roberto Carlos, Romalu Lukaku, Miralem Pjanic and world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic.

The granting of the gold card follows the UAE Cabinet’s move to provide long-term residency permits (gold cards) to creators, scientists and entrepreneurs based on their contribution and influence on society in the UAE.

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“Throughout history, the UAE has 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 a part of the UAE’s success story and making it a second home,” His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had said when the gold card scheme was first announced.