A discount card offering savings on everything from health services and school fees to flights and theme park visits has been made available to golden visa holders in Dubai.
Dubai's government announced on Monday it would provide the Esaad privilege card to recipients of the five- and 10-year visa free of charge, in line with a wider effort to attract top talent to the country.
The green and gold card can be used to enjoy discounts offered by 7,237 brands and businesses in the UAE and 92 countries worldwide.
“The stability and incentives will encourage holders of the golden visa to continue contributing to Dubai’s wider economy,” said Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary General of The Executive Council of Dubai.
“They will also help the city attract fresh and exceptional talent from across the world.”
First approved in 2020, golden visas are awarded to people who have made outstanding contributions to the UAE, have highly-prized abilities, or who work in industries regarded as vital to the economic growth of the country.
What is the Esaad card?
The card was launched in 2017 by Dubai Police to deliver a wide range of discounts for the force's employees.
It has expanded over the years to include government employees and is now also available to citizens in receipt of social benefits, military and civilian retirees from public and private sectors jobs, as well as disabled and senior citizens in the emirate.
Mona Al Ameri, director of the Esaad Card Centre at Dubai Police, said golden visa holders would receive a text message with instructions on how to secure a digital version of the card.
Holders of the card and “first-degree” relatives can enjoy savings at restaurants, hotels, retail outlets, hospitals and pharmacies, clothing brands, salons, schools and more.
Golden visa holders back initiative
Dr Ali Adil, a 45-year-old Iraqi doctor who holds a golden visa, said the card will help him make key savings.
“The most important part in the card is the shopping and restaurant discounts. I can’t wait to get the card and enjoy a wide variety of discounts across the country,” he said.
For Najla Ahmed, an Emirati government employee, the card has already proved useful.
“I take the card wherever I go. As the card has a variety of discounts, I tend to ask the shops and restaurants if there is special discount for Esaad card holders. It saves money with discounts of between 10 and 20 per cent in many places.”
How to Register
Those eligible can register through the Esaad website or by downloading the app on Google Play or the App Store.
They will be asked to enter personal details including contact information and their Emirates ID.
Companies wishing to offer membership to employees can register through the companies' form on the Esaad website.
What benefits can I get?
Discounts of 15-30 per cent for cardholders are available at various fast food chains, cinemas, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Kempinski Palm Jumeirah, the At the Top tour at Burj Khalifa, flydubai flights, Al Ghani auto services, Sharaf DG and Al Zahra Hospital.
Savings can be made at more than 50 schools, including 40 per cent off tuition fees at the American School of Creative Science and 20 per cent at Victoria English School in Sharjah.
Discounts are also available at 41 universities — including Canadian University of Dubai and British University in Dubai — as well as at more than 50 training centres and 100 kindergartens.
For a full list of discounts visit the Esaad website or download the app.
Customers can present their Esaad Card at participating outlets or use it to shop online.