Veteran Indian Jeev Milkha Singh became the first professional golfer in the world to receive the prestigious 10-year Dubai Golden Visa in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the sport. The 49-year-old has had a long association with Dubai, having featured in several tournaments and making many friends in the city. (More Sports News)
“I am really honoured and humbled that the Dubai government has considered me for the Golden Visa and I am looking forward to making many more special memories here,” Jeev said in a release. During the 2001 Dubai Desert Classic, Jeev had established a world record at that time when he completed the four rounds with just 94 putts while finishing tied-sixth.
Jeev, a winner of four titles on the European Tour, four on Japan Golf Tour and six on the Asian Tour, has received the 10-year ‘Gold card’ for being an elite professional athlete. “This is a huge honour. I think I came to Dubai for the first time in 1993, and I have loved every moment of my stay here and greatly admired the energy of this fascinating city,” Jeev said.
“My family has enjoyed the many offerings of Dubai, like the variety of restaurants and shopping, but being a professional golfer, the biggest attraction for me is the quality of golf courses and the practice facilities that you get here, which really are second to none. I have also got a lot of support from Dubai. I was one of the first ambassadors for Jumeirah Golf Estates, and also of 'Golf in Dubai' for many years.”
The Golden Visa was instituted by the UAE government in 2019 as a new system that allowed investors (minimum of AED 10 million) and entrepreneurs, as well as professionals and specialized talents in the field of science, knowledge and sports, to apply for it.
Other sportspersons who have been granted the Golden Visa by Dubai include footballers Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, Roberto Carlos, Luis Figo and Romel Lukaku, tennis superstar Novak Djokovic, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her husband and Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik.
Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Sanjay Dutt have also received their visas. Son of the legendary Indian athlete, the late ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh, Jeev won two of the biggest tournaments on the European Tour – the 2006 Volvo Masters at Valderrama and the 2012 Scottish Open.
He also won the 2008 Singapore Open and rose to No. 28 in the Official World Golf Ranking, a high that few Asian golfers have managed to surpass.