Expat tycoons, families get UAE Gold card

#UAE | 26 June, 2019

A businessman who does not own a smartphone but an old analog cell phone; the owner of Dh33 million special plate number; a second-generation businesswoman, and an entire family up to its third generation are some of the first recipients of the UAE Gold Card or permanent visa.

Vasudev Shamdas Shroff, chairman, Regal Group, is one of the first holders of the Gold Card, when it was first issued last month. He has multiple businesses not just in the UAE but across the GCC, but one thing that is peculiar about him is that, despite his resources, he does use or own a smartphone.

The septuagenarian who arrived in the UAE in 1960s, told Khaleej Times that he is still using his old Nokia 6110 cell phone, which aside from him, has served as a strange witness to how the UAE has grown as a business hub in a short period of time.

"Our family business started off with one trading store and now our company has multiple businesses not just in the UAE but across the region. We have experienced growth because of the UAE's pro-business policies," he told Khaleej Times.

"The UAE has been my home and with the Gold Card, I'm truly at home," Shroff added. He and his entire family are holders of the permanent residency visa.

Balwinder Sahni,  chairman of RSG International Group of companies, made waves a couple of years ago when he bought a special plate  number (D5) for a whopping Dh33 million and forked out more than Dh4.5 million for an exclusive Du mobile number.  As a successful businessman and philanthropist, who has so far donated around Dh100 million to charity through various auctions, is also a holder of the Gold Card visa.

He said: I've have been living in this beautiful country for the last 13 years and now I can live here forever because of the permanent residency visa

Another prominent captain of the industry, Kamal Vachani, group director and partner at Al Maya Group, who is also a recipient of the Gold Card, added: "We are indeed very happy to receive the 10-year (permanent) visa. Al Maya group has been in the UAE for 39 years and we are now having more than 50 supermarkets across the country."

Second-generation businesswoman, Nisha Jagtiani, group director, Landmark Group, also gave a "big thank you to the UAE leadership for the Gold Card.

"It is an amazing move that has made us feel more comfortable. We have always felt the generosity of the UAE but this Gold Card has certainly reinforced it," she added.

Shamlal Ahamed, managing director - International Operations, Malabar Gold & Diamonds, for his part, added: "I feel blessed and privileged for the long term visa being granted for my family and myself. This recognition will encourage and attract more investors to this country to contribute effectively for the growth of the nation and it will help Dubai to remain as a global business hub."

Meanwhile, Rajan Israni, chairman, Sun and Sand Developers, was given a Gold Card for his entire family up to its third generation. "My wife, children and grandchildren (the youngest is 15-month-old) were all given Gold Card visas. It took us only 45 minutes to get everything done," he told Khaleej Times.


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