LONDON: Portugal and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo has been given a long-term golden residency visa by the UAE as part of the country’s efforts to attract people with talent, including innovators, scientists and entrepreneurs.
The golden visa is a long-term residency program that allows investors in public investments of at least AED10 million ($2.7 million) and people with “specialized talents” to reside in the UAE. It lasts for ten years but is renewed automatically.
People with “specialized talent” are considered to be “doctors, scientists, inventors, as well as creative individuals in the field of culture and art” according to the UAE government. The visa extends to an individual’s spouse and children.
Six other sportsmen who received the visa include ex-footballers Luis Figo and Roberto Carlos, Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, Juventus’ Miralem Pjanic, Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku and Serbian professional tennis player Novak Djokovic who is currently ranked No. 1 in men’s singles.
Ronaldo visits Dubai often and has spent several New Year’s holidays in the city. He has previously posted pictures of himself with Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on his Instagram page.