Retail tycoon is first Indian to gain coveted Saudi ‘green card’

  • Yusuff Ali M.A: “This is obviously a very proud and humbling moment in my life,”

JEDDAH: Abu Dhabi-based retail tycoon Yusuff Ali M.A. on Monday became the first Indian citizen to obtain Saudi Arabia’s coveted Premium Residency, widely known as the Saudi “green card.”

“This is obviously a very proud and humbling moment in my life,” the chairman and managing director of the group that owns the LuLu chain of hypermarkets told Arab News.

“It is a great honor, not only for me but also for the entire Indian expat community, and I sincerely thank King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the government of Saudi Arabia.

“I am sure this new permanent residency initiative will further boost Saudi Arabia’s image as one of the key investment and business hubs in the region in addition to attracting and retaining new investors here.”

Premium Residency is a special residence permit that gives expatriates who meet its conditions the right to live, work, and own business and property in the Kingdom without a sponsor. It is a key part of the crown prince’s Vision 2030 reform plan to diversify the Saudi economy.

The Kingdom had become an attractive investment destination because of the remarkable growth of its economy, Yusuff Ali said. “Investors can now come here and invest freely; they can buy property and feel at home, secure and safe.

“What does an investor need? He needs security such as premium residency. The economy of this great country is booming so this is the best time for international investors to come, invest and take advantage of Saudi Vision 2030.”

The tycoon said international investors and businessmen were looking to Saudi Arabia because of how the country had been transformed. “We want to export agricultural products from Saudi Arabia and use the innovations and transformations in the business sector,” he said.

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