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Why are millionaires moving to the UAE?

The UAE, particularly Dubai, is witnessing record numbers of young, affluent HNWI (high net worth individuals) migrating to the country. This year alone, the UAE is set to welcome an influx of around 4,500 millionaires, an impressive figure that ranks among the highest on record for the country.

The UAE was ranked second behind Australia, which is expected to attract the highest net inflow of high-net-worth individuals globally at 5,200, Henley & Partners said in the report, which focuses on people with a net worth of $1 million or more.

Prior to the pandemic, the UAE typically witnessed an annual net influx of about 1,000 high-net-worth individuals per year, with HNWI choosing to set up base in more traditional luxury capitals such as London. Meanwhile, China is expected to record the biggest outflow of millionaires globally, at 13,500, followed by India at 6,500 and the UK at 3,200, according to the Henley & Partners report. Figures show that there has been a drastic change, now Dubai has become one of the top cities in the world for migrating millionaires & billionaires, the predominant nationalities moving originate largely from India, with significant numbers also hailing from Russia, the UK, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey, Nigeria and China.

Factors which had contributed towards the substantial increase of millionaires residing in Dubai, is the robust economy, including tourism, hotels, financial services, oil and gas, real estate, retail, and transport. Dubai has positioned itself as a safe and stable city in the Middle East region to live, work and enjoy many lifestyle advantages that many other cities worldwide cannot compete with. London for example has recorded a steady outflow of millionaires over the past decade, with many HNWI opting for cities which provide a safer environment to live in and better lifestyle options.

Recent reforms to the visa laws have also contributed to the influx of millionaires, with Dubai now offering a wide array of long-term visa options to residents including the 10-year Golden Visa and the 3 and 5-year Property Investment Visas. Along with attractive long-term residency options, investors in Dubai can also benefit from a wide range of business setup options in both mainland and free zones the city has to offer. The ease of setting up a new business in Dubai has significantly improved in the last few years, in addition to the 100% foreign ownership reforms that came into effect recently.

Synergy has also noted a high amount of interest from HNWI requiring company formation solutions and long-term visa assistance, our consultants have assisted many HNWI with business setups, Golden Visa and general Pro services, for individuals and their families.

If you would like to have a consultation about forming a company in the UAE or regarding the many long-term visa options now available, we will be delighted to assist you.


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