Why now is a good time to relocate to Dubai

12 December 2021 | By Deepak Malhotra, Senior Partner | Sanctuary

In October this year, Dubai was ranked as the world’s fifth best city, beating cities such as Singapore, Tokyo and Los Angeles. This comes as no surprise to me, after taking into consideration the safety, weather, immigration rate, diversity, number of visitors to the city and iconic landmarks. The UAE’s efforts in combatting Covid-19 and promoting the vaccination programme, has been one of the best I’ve seen worldwide.

Dubai also holds one of the top spots in attracting the world’s most wealthy individuals. The calibre of wealthy individuals and families, including billionaires, that have moved here is at a very sophisticated level. There have been more and more hedge fund investors, private equity firms and owners of significant businesses relocating from many geographies including UK, Africa, India and Europe.

This all happened during the early part of 2021, when the UAE was open to tourists, and most countries were still in lockdown. I saw examples every week of people who came here on holiday, witnessed the general environment, the opportunities, and the lifestyle, thereafter, deciding to make the move more permanent and become UAE residents. This was made easier as many countries introduced remote working, and with its low tax rate, excellent infrastructure, time zone, productivity and even a special remote working visa, Dubai was a very attractive jurisdiction.

Not only have the real estate markets benefitted significantly from this influx, but there has been a huge rise in business set ups here. The rules and regulations on foreign ownership have changed drastically in the last nine months, meaning you can now be a 100% owner of a mainland company with the freedom to trade internationally. In 2019, Dubai introduced a 10-year Golden Visa programme for investors, business owners and professionals in key sectors, making it even easier to move to this ever-emerging city. The Golden Visa also offers individuals who may be stuck abroad the ability to enter the UAE without any restrictions.

It’s very clear that over the past year, the UAE has taken measures to make its economy more attractive to foreign investment and talent. And for the first time in history, the UAE has announced a new working week, with a Saturday-Sunday weekend to better align the economy with global markets. This is a huge step in making international trade with other countries much more integrated and productive.

I’ve seen many business cycles during my time here, but what we are seeing now in terms of the growth of the economy and business opportunities is at a level I’ve not seen before, and with tourists and wealthy business owners from more than 190 nations flocking to visit Expo 2020 since its doors opened on October 1, Dubai has never been busier. I’m very excited to see what the future holds.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. The content written does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion. Sanctuary offers relocation services to individuals and families globally. Contact Sanctuary on ask@sanctuary.ae to find out more. Some of the information given is based on Resonance Consultancy’s World’s Best Cities Report.