The UAE government granted permanent residency to Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, chairman and managing director of VPS Healthcare, on Monday.
Brigadier Saeed Al Shamsi, executive director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs issued the golden card to Dr. Vayalil, aged 42, who is the youngest of the three businessmen in the UAE to have been granted the coveted card so far.
The other businessmen who have received permanent residency status under the golden card scheme include Yusuff Ali, chairman and managing director of Lulu Group as well as Firoz Merchant, founder of jewelry group, Pure Gold.
Dr Vayalil, who has a net worth of $1.4 billion (according to Forbes magazine) started his career as a radiologist at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi, but later joined the entrepreneurial bandwagon by setting up VPS Healthcare – an integrated healthcare group with more than 22 hospitals, numerous medical centres as well as pharmaceutical manufacturing and healthcare support services in the Middle East, Europe and India.
"I am humbled and extremely grateful. I have been in the UAE for just over a decade and this is a very proud moment for us,” Dr Vayalil was quoted as saying by The National newspaper.
“My hope is that this honour will inspire young people and the next generation to take risks and follow their dreams. We believe that the UAE’s economy isn’t just powered by just jobs and wages, but also by investment and innovation,” added Dr. Vayalil.
He is also the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Dubai-listed Amanat Holdings, which invests in healthcare and education sectors.
On May 21, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced that thousands of foreign investors and residents have been identified for a "golden card" permanent residency scheme.
Sheikh Mohammed said the current investments of the 6,800 selected investors and residents are worth an estimated Dh100 billion.
The new permanent residency scheme is expected to increase foreign investment, encourage entrepreneurship, and attract top engineers, scientists and students.
(Writing by Seban Scaria; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)
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