On Monday, Russian businessman Roman Abramovich became the wealthiest citizen of Israel. This was reported by The Times of Israel, noting that he is worth $12.5 billion.
According to the newspaper, Abramovich will live in Neve Tzedek, a prestigious district of Tel Aviv, in a hotel that he is converting into a private residence. He acquired the hotel from Gal Gadot, the actress from the blockbuster film Wonder Woman. As a new immigrant, the businessman will be exempted from taxes in Israel for a period of 10 years, the newspaper said.
On Monday, Abramovich arrived at Ben Gurion International airport in a private plane. According to airport procedure, he received an Israeli internal passport. Whether he was issued an Israeli international passport was not reported. The Times of Israel claims that the businessman filled out all the necessary documents for obtaining Israeli citizenship last week at the Israeli Embassy in Moscow.
The Russian news agency TASS reported that Abramovich stayed in the country for several hours, after which he left.
On May 24, another Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom, reported that Abramovich decided to immigrate to Israel after he had difficulties in obtaining a UK visa.
The UK would not issue an investor visa to Abramovich. The previous one had already expired, and the new one was delayed, so the billionaire could not attend the final of the FA Cup, where his club Chelsea defeated Manchester United.
According to The Guardian, the British government decided to tighten the rules for obtaining a Tier 1 investor visa for those who are not receiving it not for the first time, although they refused to comment on the specific case regarding the Russian businessman. According to the Financial Times, sources close to Abramovich say that the new rules were put in place specifically because of him.