Jeev Milkha Singh becomes first golfer to be granted Dubai Golden Visa
Jeev Milkha Singh has several firsts to his name for Indian and Asian golf. He now has a first in world golf too.
DUBAI: Jeev Milkha Singh has several firsts to his name for Indian and Asian golf. He now has a first in world golf too.
Singh, the torchbearer of Indian golf, was recognised for his outstanding achievements and granted the prestigious 10-year Dubai Golden Visa — becoming the first professional golfer in the world to be bestowed with the honour.
The 49-year-old joined a list of illustrious sportsmen such as footballers Christiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, Roberto Carlos, Luis Figo and Romel Lukaku; reigning tennis World No. 1 Novak Djokovic; Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza and her cricketer husband Shoaib Malik of Pakistan, among others. The list also includes Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Sanjay Dutt.
Singh has had a long association with Dubai, having featured in several tournaments here, making many friends in the city. During the 2001 Dubai Desert Classic, he established a world record at that time when he completed the four rounds with just 94 putts in finishing tied sixth.
Winner of four titles on the European Tour, four on Japan Golf Tour and six on the Asian Tour, Singh was earlier given the '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. I greatly admire the energy of this fascinating city," said the Padma Shri awardee golfer.
"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.
"Another thing that I love about Dubai is the connectivity. Given the amount of travelling that we do for tournaments, the geographical location is unbeatable. And thanks to Emirates airlines, you are never too far away from any corner of the world.
"I have also got a lot of support here, being one of the first ambassadors for Jumeirah Golf Estates (the golf course community that hosts the European Tour's season-ending DP World Tour Championship), and also of 'Golf in Dubai', which organised the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, for many years.
"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," the golfer said. (IANS)