Tajik influencer Abdu Rozik has become the first personality from his country to receive the long-term UAE Golden Visa.
Rozik, 18, who has 1.2 million followers on Instagram, received the honour in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
“I am deeply humbled and honoured to be the youngest and first from Tajikistan to receive the 10-year Golden Visa in the UAE. This is a historical moment,” Rozik told The National, speaking through a translator.
“I would like to thank the royal family who supported me, my sponsor IFCM, the Abu Dhabi government and their team who have all worked so hard. I am overwhelmed by this honour and I promise to make both countries, the UAE and Tajikistan, proud.”
Ever since the government scheme was introduced in 2019 to attract investors, it has been expanded to also acknowledge the cultural contributions made by those in the creative industry, including actors, singers and composers from around the world.
Rozik, who suffered from rickets, which affects bone development in children, stands a little over 91 centimetres tall. He found online fame in 2019 after Tajik rapper Baron featured him in one of his videos.
Rozik’s voice has since gained him fans around the world and turned him into a social media sensation. His Instagram is now filled with celebrity selfies, featuring everyone from Egyptian football star Mohamed Salah to British boxer Amir Khan, with whom he trained in the ring.
A collaboration with Bollywood singer Guru Randhawa is also in the works, and will have Rozik singing in Hindi for the first time.
Rozik is currently in the UAE at the invitation of the International Fighting Championship Management, which has offices in Dubai. A much-publicised fight with Russia’s Hasbulla Magomedov, who is of the same age and height as Rozik, is being planned in Dubai on Friday, November 12.