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.
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“To all my friends in Dubai and the UAE, this is a really difficult moment and we need to take care of us and others as well,” said Figo.
“It was a great relief to see him deliver last start after the trouble he’d encountered at his previous two,” said trainer James Cummings.
The Premier League has been postponed until at least April 30 because of the pandemic and it is feared the season will be delayed again when English football’s stakeholders meet to discuss the crisis on Friday.