World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, will arrive at the ATP Dubai Duty Free Men's Tennis Championships as a resident of the United Arab Emirates, according to the Gulf News. Portugal international soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is not the only top sportsperson to be granted a 10-year ‘Gold Card’ resident visa by the UAE.
The list also includes Djokovic, and current and past footballers including Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos, Paul Pogba, Romalu Lukaku and Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic who plays with Ronaldo at Juventus. The proposal for issuing of golden visas for top athletes has been approved by the UAE Cabinet, headed by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, earlier this month.
Ronaldo’s name was announced last week for his exploits for his club and country on the field. Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer, who owns a home in the UAE, is also expected to join the list in the near future, along with other sports stars such as Didier Drogba and Eric Abidal.
Djokovic, who won his 17th Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open in Melbourne earlier this month, headlines the men's field in Dubai. The field also includes Swiss legend Roger Federer, ranked No. 3 in the world, Greece's Stefano Tsitsipas, ranked No.
6 and France's Gael Monfils, ranked No. 9 among the Top 10 players. Italy's Fabio Fognini, Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, and Russians Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov are also part of the field.