Meet the UAE's new long-term visa holders


Meet the UAEs new long-term visa holders

Dubai - Businessmen in UAE hope to pay back to their second home.


Sandhya D'Mello

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Published: Sat 8 Jun 2019, 11:02 PM

Last updated: Sun 9 Jun 2019, 8:48 AM

The UAE is known to surprise its residents and the newest is the long-term residency schemes for expats, varying from Gold Card and 10-year visa to five-year visa.
Every expat leaves the shores of their home country to build a better life in the UAE and what better opportunity it can offer than issuing a long-term visa which helps taking key decisions in life.

Applauding the UAE goverment's gesture of issuing the Gold Card, its first recipient and Lulu Group chairman Yusuff Ali MA said: "The UAE government has thrown open a plethora of opportunities for the young entrepreneurs while simultaneously recognising the efforts of expats who have spent decades here. The secret of success is obviously there is no shortcut to it other than hard work and that needs to be invested back in this nation to build a stronger and diversified economy."
He said that the Lulu Group plans to reciprocate this generous gesture of the leadership by investing back in various CSR initiatives and will continue to invest in the country and the region. The Gold Card affirms that the leadership is opening opportunities to entrepreneurs to build a stronger economy.
Vasudev Shamdas Shroff, chairman, Regal Group, who received a long-term visa for 10 years, said: "UAE is changing from a country with a 'floating' population to a stable resident population of investors, and talented individuals who want to make the country their home. The long-term visa is a welcome addition to the many initiatives that the country has taken, and reinforces confidence in the country's government and economy. The move encourages investments, and in turn will create more employment opportunities as well. I think the UAE is on its way to becoming one of the most stable, happy and secure places to live in."
Shroff added: "The UAE has been home to our family for over four generations now.
Our faith in the UAE and its government has stayed firm. The 10-year visa further strengthens our ties to the country. I think this opportunity brings with it a responsibility of not only to give back to the economy, but also to be a guiding example to our families, organisations and future generations. We are proud of and thankful to the UAE and its rulers. While our profits are naturally ploughed back in investments within the UAE, we will continue to reach out to those in need, and help them find their footing in the UAE."
Khushi Khatwani, owner of Khushi Jewellers who has been a Dubai resident for five decades, said: "It is very thoughtful and timely initiative by the UAE government to instil a sense of permanency in the hearts and minds of expat community, especially those who have spent most of their life in this very beautiful and comfortable country.
It is also an indication of acknowledgement and confirmation of the direct or indirect contribution the expat community have extended. It definitely brings us more closer and more involved in our daily jobs, businesses, professions or whatever we are doing here, in a more relaxed manner with a long term vision. It definitely gives us a sense of belonging."
Khatwani added: "The UAE has, for sure, become our home away from home. We have raised our families here and created multi-faceted friends of different nationalities, different backgrounds and different cultures, which is rare in other parts of the world. In many ways, this country is unique."
Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director, Aster DM Healthcare, said:
"I consider it a great privilege to be chosen for the long-term visa in the UAE, which has happiness in its heart and tolerance in its soul. The visionary rulers of the UAE have acknowledged our contribution to this land of opportunities and allowed us to play a significant role in the growth story of this country. We are proud that the UAE is now on the centre-stage of the world in many areas including healthcare. The long-term visa, which I understand is like a permanent residency, is a recognition and testimony for us for this contribution. This reinforces our commitment to give back through blood and sweat and to increase our investment and projects under the Aster, Medcare and Access brands."
The Aster group plans to reciprocate to the UAE through its CSR efforts, Dr Moopen added. "Apart from the business part, through our humanitarian efforts like Aster Volunteers, we have also ensured that the needs of the underprivileged population are addressed. We will continue to undertake all necessary efforts to give back to the society through our business and CSR efforts."
Dr Moopen said it's an honour and privilege for all his family to call the UAE home. "My children, who have spent most of their lives in the UAE, and grandchildren, who are born and brought up here, consider this oasis of peace and prosperity their first home."
Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group who also received a long-term visa, said: "The UAE government's reforms will go a long way in boosting investor confidence and help attract more investment. However, I feel the government will expand the visa liberalisation further and lower the investment ceiling for more people to benefit from the new scheme. Many of these are in early stage and the full impact could be felt in a few years time."
Sajan has been a resident since 1992. "We have always considered the UAE our home.
Our next generation already call it home. The new measures now strengthen this feeling as we develop a growing sense of belonging to the UAE."
The realty developer advised recipients of the long-term visa that they should keep on investing in new ventures that helps businesses grow, create employment and just enjoy the freedom. The group plans to continue to invest with renewed confidence. "We have been investing in new ventures, regardless of the economic situation. In 2014, we invested in real estate and continue to do so in expanding our scope of business. So, we will continue to support the UAE economy - with renewed confidence," added Sajan.
A resident for six decades, Dr Ram Buxani, chairman of ITL Cosmos Group, said:
"Having lived 60 years here, what can I call the UAE? It is definitely my home. I arrived on November 18, 1959, by Dara, a ship which subsequently sunk in Dubai waters. It is my 60th year running in Dubai. The reforms have indeed boosted the business community's confidence and this gesture of new initiatives will only build the UAE government and make it more resilient."
Dr Buxani added: "The UAE government, by issuing long-term visa of 10 years, has taken a great proactive step in creating a rare confidence in the expatriate community.
Simultaneous announcement of Gold Card itself shows that long-term visa is not the end of the road. We can expect many things more. Not that earlier visa was cumbersome, but 10-year Visa gives a better sense of belonging to the country. It is now necessary to sit and reflect as to what we have done for the inhabitants of the host nation. Our role in CSR activities locally require lot of attention.."

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