Yusuff Ali M.A., chairman of retail giant Lulu Group and prominent NRI (non-resident Indian) businessman, has been honored with Abu Dhabi’s top civilian award.
The prestigious Abu Dhabi Award was given to Ali for his outstanding contribution to the emirate’s business and industry, and support to various philanthropic initiatives.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, presented the award to Ali in Abu Dhabi.
“A very proud and emotional moment in my life. I am really overwhelmed and humbled to receive such a great honor from Abu Dhabi where I have been living for the past 47 years,” said the Kerala-born businessman after receiving the honor.
“It was on Dec. 31, 1973, I arrived in the UAE with new dreams and hopes. I have reached here after seeing many ups and downs and various challenges and I take this opportunity to extend my deepest gratitude to the visionary leadership of this great country, especially His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.”
Ali is the only Indian along with other 11 prominent personalities, which include nine UAE nationals, to receive the honor this year. The Abu Dhabi Awards is the Abu Dhabi government’s initiative that recognizes and honors individuals who have selflessly dedicated themselves to support and contribute to the development of the emirate.
Ali, who recently ranked as the richest Indian in the Middle East in the Forbes billionaire list 2021, is also billed as the most influential Indian in the region, thanks to his close relations with the Gulf rulers.
He has received numerous awards, including the Order of the King of Bahrain in 2014, and the British Queen’s Award in 2017. In addition, he is also the first expatriate to get a permanent residency visa in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE.