Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group, has become one of the first foreigners to receive the 10-year UAE residence visa, as the UAE further liberalises the country’s economy to attract more foreign investment.
He received the 10-year visa, stamped on his passport, from General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai.
A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) entrepreneur, Rizwan Sajan came to the UAE in 1991 to earn a living and set up Danube Building Materials Trading in 1993 – at the age of 30.
By 2018, Danube Group grew to a conglomerate of ten companies operating in more than five business verticals building materials, real estate, home décor and interiors, fashion retail, manufacturing, joinery and food and beverage retail, with an annual turnover to the tune of Dh5.5 billion (US$1.5 billion) when the company celebrated its Silver Jubilee last year.
Today, his networth is estimated to be more than $1bn (AED3.67bn)
Sajan said: “This is a great moment as we have been waiting for this for a long time. I am grateful to the Almighty and the UAE’s visionary leadership for granting a 10-year visa to me.
“This is the beginning of a new chapter in the UAE economy as it further liberalises the economy to attract more investment. Initiatives such as the ten-year visa, 100% ownership of companies in selected economic sectors and finally the permanent residency – are some of the game-changing developments that will re-define our relationship with this wonderful land of opportunities.
“This is a great moment not only for me but for millions of foreigners living in this country. I’m sure the scope of these initiatives will expand gradually to include more investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, philanthropists, innovators and highly-skilled professionals.”
In 2014, Sajan entered into real estate development business through Danube Properties with Dreamz project – which was sold out at launch. Since then, Danube Properties launched and sold out 12 projects involving 5,019 residential units with a portfolio of AED3.8bn. The company has so far delivered six projects with 1,711 units, worth AED1.7bn so far.
Danube Group owns Danube Home – a chain superstore of interiors and home décor – as well as Milano – a sanitary and bathware brand registered in Italy.