Asif Ali (centre) poses with his Golden Visa in Dubai on Monday. Supplied photo
One of the most accomplished and popular Malayalam actors, Asif Ali, can call the UAE his second home, as he has become the latest Indian celebrity to receive the Golden Visa.
The announcement was made on Monday afternoon at the office of Emirates First Business Service office in Dubai in the presence of local media and Jamad Usman of Emirates First Business Service.
Asif has become an Indian celebrity to join the golden club after Shah Rukh Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Mohanlal, Mammootty, Sunil Shetty, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Tovino Thomas and Dulquer Salmaan.
An extremely popular Malayalam artiste, Asif made his film debut in 2009 with “Ritu” — and has never looked back. He went to do films like, “Apoorvaragam,” “Traffic,” “Salt N' Pepper Ozhimuri,” “Honey Bee,” “Anuraga Karikkin Vellam,” “Sunday Holiday Btech," and “Vijay Superum Pournamiyum.”
He has created a space for himself in one of India's most competitive film industries with sheer talent and hard work. Thus far, he has done around 70 films.
The humble actor interacted with the local media to express his gratitude to Dubai Government for awarding him the Golden Visa.
Sharing his happiness with Gulf Today also, he said: “Dubai has been like a second home for us Indians, especially Malayalis. This country is all about excitement and miracles. Lots of Indians came here with their dreams. Like everyone, I am also very much excited and I feel so privileged.”
"Whenever I get a chance, I will make sure I come to Dubai, specially with the Golden Visa! I don't need to wait now with applications any more. I can simply book a ticket and drop in anytime!"
Asif's Golden Visa also coincides with the inauguration of Dubai Expo. Talking about this he said: “I am very much excited about Dubai Expo and am looking forward to visit there. Everyone who is making a single penny from Dubai is excited about Dubai Expo.”
He added: “I want to visit with my family. I want to show my kids how the world is after the pandemic, and how we are going to go ahead.” Meanwhile, Asif is also awaiting the release of “Kunjeldho,” “Kuttavum Shikshayum” and “Kothu.”
He is also part of veteran filmmaker Venu’s new project, “Kaapa,” in which he shares the screen with Prithviraj, Manju Warrier, and Anna Ben.
Jamad Usman said: “Actually, Asif Ali is one of our friends and we had applied for his Golden Visa in July and he got approval in 20 days time from the Culture Department. But due to flight disruption, he could not come to collect the visa. Now he is here with us.”
He added that “we have processed for the Golden Visa for other stars also, such as Sunil Shetty, Prithviraj Sukumaran and Tovino Thomas.
Around 26 more people are in the pipeline for the visa and I hope they can get it in a month's time.” In 2019, the UAE established a new system for long-term residence visas called the Golden Visa. They are issued for 5 or 10 years and will be renewed automatically.
Actress Amala Paul, who is well known in both the Tamil and the Malayalam film industries, has received the prestigious Golden Visa offered by the UAE.
During the occasion, Mudassar Khushnood expressed gratitude to Allah Almighty for this honour. He also thanked the UAE leadership for this recognition.
Abdulla said the Golden Visa is of particular relevance to Masdar City, which hosts more than 900 companies that are benefiting from the City’s unique ecosystem of education, R&D, technology startups and corporates.
The actor was discharged from the hospital after he was admitted following stomach infection. But, his health condition deteriorated last night, and suffered a heart attack.
The brand new adaptation of David Nicholls’ 2009 best-selling novel of the same name stars Leo Woodall (The White Lotus) and Ambika Mod (This is Going to Hurt) as the star-crossed lovers, Dexter and Emma.
Zendaya added that the “spirit of collaboration on something with this kind of massive scale is what lends itself to being a film with real heart and human emotion.