Abu Dhabi-based Indian retail tycoon M A Yusuff Ali has become the first Indian to receive Saudi Arabia's premium residency, his office said in a statement on Monday.
Yusuff Ali, 64, is the chairman of the LuLu Group, who was ranked the richest expat in the UAE by the Forbes magazine last year.
The permit, informally known as Saudi Green Card, grants expatriates the right to live, work and own business and property in the Kingdom without need for a sponsor, the LuLu group said in a statement.
The introduction of the Premium Residency comes as a part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 reform plan, which was announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to boost the Saudi economy, the statement said.
Yusuff Ali said "obviously a very proud and humbling moment in my life. This is a great honour not only for me but for the entire Indian expat community and I sincerely thank the HM the King Salman, HRH Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and the government of Saudi Arabia."
"@Yusuffali_MA , an investor from India, after obtaining Premium Residency in Saudi Arabia: 'The Kingdom became an attractive investment destination due to the remarkable growth in economy," Premium Residency tweeted on Monday.
Yusuff Ali said he was sure that this new permanent residency initiative will further boost Saudi Arabia's image as one of the key investments and business hubs of the region as well as attract and retain new investors here.
This initiative is targeting key investors and prominent personalities from various fields, including sports, arts & culture, who have played a defining role in the nation building process.
The Lulu Group owns and operates more than 35 hypermarkets and supermarkets in Saudi Arabia, which includes ARAMCO Commissaries and National Guards super stores.
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