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The Emirates is set to soar in global ranking in the next decade
Dubai and Abu Dhabi could soon join London, New York and Hong Kong in the world’s top 10 global business centre rankings in the next decade, thanks to new UAE government laws affecting expatriates.
It’s a bold statement, for sure. I’m confident this could become a reality after His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, recently announced that expats in the UAE will be allowed to stay back in the country for a “longer period of time” after retirement.
A major shift of policy states that the visa will be offered to expat retirees over the age of 55 years for a period of five years under specific conditions. These include that the expat should have investment in a property worth Dh2 million, or have savings of no less than Dh1 million, or have an active income not less than Dh20,000 per month.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are enduring popular cities for expatriates looking to start or further their careers because of the opportunities, the famous “can do” attitude the low tax environment — and, of course, the sunshine!
But they are set to become even more appealing locations for foreign nationals thanks to the government passing these progressive new laws.
With the UAE becoming an ever-more attractive destination, I believe that it will help drive further confidence in the Gulf state as a major global hub for firms to do business and invest.
Dubai is already widely recognised as one of the most powerful financial centres in the world. This new legislation will not only galvanise this position, but significantly strengthen it. This confirms my view that over the next decade, we can expect it to become one of the world’s top ten international financial hubs to rival and more aggressively compete with stalwarts such as London, New York and Hong Kong.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are helped by having an independent regulator, an independent judicial system, a global financial exchange, a stable, pro-business government, a high proposition of high net worth individuals, a dynamic business community, world-class infrastructure and telecommunications, English as its business language, and their enviable geographical location and time zone.
This new legislation will encourage even more people to come, stay and invest for the long-term in the country, which will further boost its sustainable economic growth.
Earlier this year, Dubai was revealed as the number one city for graduates seeking a career in financial services, while London didn’t make the top ten, in an annual deVere Group survey.
Of the findings at the time, I was quoted in the media as saying: “This survey highlights that the next generation of financial services professionals are open to look beyond the traditional and more established global financial hubs.
“It underscores how cities like Dubai, Barcelona and Cape Town are increasingly important international business centres. The fact that Barcelona this year is second-placed and London — currently the world’s most important global financial hub — does not make the top ten is interesting.”
To support my view that the UAE is destined to climb the international business rankings, there is exciting news coming from Bloomberg. It is reporting that Emirates is looking to take over Etihad, according to “people familiar with the matter”. The airlines are apparently in preliminary talks, and this would create the world’s largest airline in terms of passengers.
All this positive business-related news confirms to me that there has never been a better time to live, work and/or (now) retire in the UAE.
The writer is founder and CEO of deVere Group
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