A stalwart of the arts and culture scene has been granted a Golden Card visa, which allows her residency in the UAE for 10 years.
Maxine English, 38, joined the ranks of superstar celebrities like Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Novak Djokovic by receiving the accolade.
The Englishwoman, who hails from Newcastle, has been involved in the local arts scene in Dubai for the past 22 years.
During that time, she oversaw productions across the country at iconic venues such as Yas Island, Adnec, Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre and the QE2.
“It is amazing to be recognised and I feel so proud,” said Ms English.“I have been part of the arts and culture scene for more than 20 years and have seen how it has grown into something spectacular.
“It is just overwhelming to be a part of that and when I was told about being awarded the visa my reaction was ‘is this real?’”
The Golden Card visa, which grants long-term residency in the country instead of the usual three-year term, was announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai in May last year.
The 10-year visa is usually associated with captains of industry, as it was introduced to encourage business development and attract new talent to the country.
However, the visa was also available to members of the arts but their selection had to be approved by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.
Ms English said she was asked by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority to submit her profile, which was followed up by a phone call asking her to come into their office.
It was there that she received a letter notifying her that she would be awarded the prestigious visa.
She and her husband James currently run their own company, Park Lane Live, which specialises in hosting and facilitating corporate and theatrical events across the country.
She was also responsible for creating Theatre by QE2, on board the iconic ship now permanently docked in Dubai’s Port Rashid.