Golden Card: Meet the first two Indians to receive 10-year UAE resident visa

DUBAI: Vasudev Shamdas Shroff and Khushi Khatwani are the first Indians to benefit from new 10-year visa scheme announced last year.

Septuagenarian Vasu Shroff is the chairman of the Regal Group of Companies, and Khushi Khatwani is the managing director of the Khushi Group of Companies & Al Nisr Cinema Film.

The duo recently received the visas stamped on their passports at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) headquarters in the presence of Major-General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, director-general of GDRFA Dubai.

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“At about 11am today, I got a call from the office of Major-General Al Merri, inviting me to visit him. I went there at 1pm and within five minutes they issued the 10-year visa for me,” Shroff told Gulf News on Tuesday evening.

“It is really a very good initiative for the investors who bring up the economy. This will encourage more investors to make investments here. People from around the world are waiting for Expo 2020. With such encouragement from the government 2020 will prove we are one of the best countries in the world.”

Shroff arrived in the UAE in 1960 felt “I am home!” after receiving the 10-year honour.

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Khatwani, who has been in the UAE for the past 50 years, said: “The leadership’s decision to issue the 10-year visa will encourage a lot of expatriates to have long-term plans here.”

Prominent expats and business believes and see the UAE government’s decision (to issue long-term visas) as a win-win situation for both expatriates community and UAE.

Dr B.R. Shetty, founder and chairman, NMC Healthcare said, “We are committed to the country and work towards the benefit of the country till our last blood. The country has given so much and we are ready to sacrifice for the benefit of the country and for its development. We are very happy with the decision. This is a good opportunity for investors,” reported Gulf News.

The United Arab Emirates said Tuesday it has launched a permanent residency scheme to attract wealthy individuals and highly skilled workers to the oil-rich Gulf country.

The “Golden Card” programme is open to investors and “exceptional talents” such as doctors, engineers, scientists and artists, said UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, who is also Dubai’s ruler.

“We want them to be permanent partners in our journey. Residents are an indispensable part of our country,” he said in a statement.

A first group of 6,800 investors with investments totalling 100 billion dirhams ($27 billion, 24 billion euros) were being given permanent residency, he said.

It is the first such scheme in the Gulf, where foreigners are generally only given limited duration residence permits under the “kafala” sponsorship system.

Foreigners account for 90 percent of the population of around nine million in the UAE, the Arab world’s second-largest economy which has seen rapid development in recent years.

With agency inputs

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