Ziad Saleh is the first Arab expat to receive the Golden Residence Permit.
Two more expatriates, VPS Healthcare’s Dr Shamsheer Vayalil and Ziad Saleh, CEO, Alain Pharmacy Group have been issued the Golden Residence Permit by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, ICA.
Ziad Saleh is the first Arab expatriate to be given this card, as per an announcement made by the authority on Friday.
The Golden Card was handed over to both in Abu Dhabi, as part of the “Investors Permanent Residence System” implemented under the UAE Cabinet’s Resolution No. 56 for 2018, which aims to help investors, entrepreneurs and qualified individuals who meet its criteria.
As per the Forbes report of June 2019, Vayalil has a personal wealth of $1.4 billion.
In a statement, Vayalil said he is greatly indebted and obliged to the UAE leadership for the recognition.
“It is a proud moment. I express my sincere gratitude to the exemplary leaders of the country for their kindness, care, and concern for foreign investors in the UAE,” he added.
Vayalil also hailed the gold card scheme introduced by the UAE government.
“The permanent residency scheme is a great step towards attracting more investors to the UAE. Moreover, it shows the vision of the UAE leadership in honouring the investors, entrepreneurs and other specialised talents for their services. I am humbled and extremely proud. This is a great recognition for me in such a short span of time,” he added.
The UAE has started issuing the permanent residency documents to select people earlier in May.
The UAE Cabinet has approved the long-term visa system for expatriates announced by the country earlier this year, while also confirming the criteria that need to be met.
The UAE also announced that it would grant five or 10-year residency visas to investors, entrepreneurs, specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields, and ‘outstanding’ students to “facilitate business and create an attractive and encouraging investment environment” in the country. The visa benefits also extend to the wider family (spouse and children).
In January, the government also granted the first batch of long-term visas to 20 scientists who were the winners and finalists of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.
The new permanent residency initiative has identified the first 6,800 qualified expats from over 70 countries to benefit from the Golden Card scheme’s unprecedented benefits.
Others who have got the Golden Card include businessman, LuLu Group chairman M.A. Yusuffali.