Dubai, July 15 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has awarded Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza and her husband and Pakistani cricket star Shoaib Malik the much coveted 10-year UAE Golden Visa.
Mirza, 34, who hails from Hyderabad, and Malik, 39, a native of Sialkot, Pakistan, were married in 2010 and have been residents of Dubai for the past many years. The much-loved sports couple have a three-year-old son named Izhaan.
The golden visa was introduced by the UAE government in 2019 as a new system for long-term residence visas. It enabled foreigners to live, work and study in the country without the need for a national sponsor and with 100 percent ownership of their business in the United Arab Emirates. These visas are valid for a period of five or ten years and are renewed automatically.
UAE Cabinet Statement No. 56 in the organization of residence permits allows investors (at least AED 10 million) entrepreneurs and professional and specialized talents as in science and knowledge to apply for it.
The scope of the golden visa was recently expanded to include bright students and for 100,000 coders last week under the National Coder Program.
On Thursday, Mirza and Malik issued a brief press release saying, “Both Sania and Shoaib are excited to spend time in the UAE with their son and explore the country. They are eager to start their own entrepreneurial process in the sports industry starting with Dubai. ”
Other athletes who have received the golden visa include footballers Christiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo and reigning tennis world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Sanjay Dutt have received this visa from the entertainment industry.
Mirza, who holds a WTA singles title in his honor, has marked himself as a doubles player, having won 42 titles, including six Grand Slams. Malik is a former Pakistani cricket captain who has played 35 Tests and 287 ODIs for his country.
jyc / arm