Cristiano Ronaldo (centre), holding his “Best Player of the Year 2018 Award” poses with his companion Georgina Rodriguez (left) and his son Cristiano Jr. during the 10th edition of the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai. File / Agence France-Presse
Portuguese football star Cristiano , who plays for Italian club Juventus, is the latest celebrity to have obtained the golden residency visa in the UAE.
Earlier this month, the UAE Cabinet announced that promising athletes in the UAE would be eligible for gold visas after it approved the new residency scheme on Sunday (February 2). But what few would have thought was that sportsmen like Cristiano Ronaldo, a legendary player and international icon for millions of fans around the globe, would be the latest beneficiary of the Gold Card.
The move comes within the framework of the implementation of the Cabinet’s decision to grant a package of long-term visas, and to confirm the position of the state as an incubator for creators, scientists and entrepreneurs.
The classic footballer has scored over 700 goals in more than 1,000 games, which is a remarkable record by itself.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai adopted last May the system of permanent residency, “the Gold Card,” for investors, entrepreneurs and those with specialised talent to stimulate business and create an investment environment that attracts and encourages the growth and success of business for investors.
Cristiano Ronaldo has a strong relationship with Dubai. Like some other sportsmen from Europe, including soccer players, he visits the emirate regularly to spend his annual vacation and enjoy warmth and security. He has participated in many events in Dubai in the past.
The new schedule of the annual competitions encapsulates 14 main tournaments which get under way in December and run until the end of March next year.
Ronaldo took the advantage of the short pause in the Premier League’s matches and came to Dubai for a winter vacation with his family.
A massive crowd attended Ronaldo’s session at Al Wasl Plaza, the heart of Expo Dubai.
The Games, delayed a year due to China's measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, will be the country's biggest sporting event in over a decade in several metrics, with around 12,000 athletes from 45 nations competing in 40 sports.
India have become only the second team in men's cricket history to occupy the number one spot across all three formats after defeating Australia in the first ODI on Friday.
The prestigious championships for amateurs and professionals will take place under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, and will be held at the Zayed Sports Complex.
The total prize money pool is $10 million for the tournament, the same which was given in the 2015 and 2019 editions of the competition. The runners-up of 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup will receive $2 million, while the losing semi-finalists will get $800,000 each.