Research last year predicted that the UAE would attract the most millionaires in 2022, with an estimated 4,000 millionaires moving to the country
Photo: Reuters file
After Asia and Africa, expats from Europe are also attracted to the UAE by its tax-free income, safety, security and free medical insurance, as well as attractiveness of work.
Europeans are looking to move to other countries due to high inflation, the energy crisis and the impact of the Ukraine-Russia war on the European economy, according to immigration and human resources consultants.
It was further revealed that most of the people from the UK and European countries were professionals who flocked to the UAE for greener pastures.
According to Aaron Portero, managing director of Connect Group, the top five European countries where people travel to the UAE are the UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands.
“Between high inflation, sluggish growth and an energy crisis, Europe is not in the best shape. We have received a record number of UAE work visa applications, most of them from Europe. In 2022, we issued 17% of visas. Companies are looking to relocate their headquarters to the Middle East for better tax benefits. Technologists are leaving – especially from the IT sector – and people are generally looking for a better work-life balance,” he said.
Inflation has been a major concern in Europe recently, averaging around 10% in November 2022.
Other factors leading expats to move to the UAE from Europe are the pull of tax-free income and the energy crisis. “Also, because of the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, people are now looking to move their families to a more stable country unaffected by the war.”
A study last year by the Henley Global Citizenship Report predicted that the UAE would attract the most millionaires by 2022. It is estimated that 4,000 millionaires will move to the UAE in 2022.
“The UAE has become the focus of intense interest from wealthy investors and is expected to see the highest net millionaire inflows in the world in 2022,” the report said.
The UAE has also become a magnet for high-net-worth individuals following its successful response to the pandemic. This is reflected in Dubai’s latest population figures, which show that the number of residents living in the emirate will exceed 3.55 million by the end of 2022.
65% are professionals
Samana Group chief executive Imran Farooq said Dubai has long been an attractive destination for European tourists.
“When they experience it, they fall in love with the city because of the metropolis’ attractive lifestyle options, year-round sunshine, tax-free wages and free health insurance at work. This [far sunnier] Dubai is another attraction for European expats, especially those from the UK. Apart from lifestyle choices, Dubai is also attracting Brits and British expats who are moving away from the UK’s ever-increasing taxes and inflation of around 10 percent,” said Samana Group’s chief executive.
Aaron Portero recommends a 65:35 ratio of professionals to investors relocating to the UAE from European countries.
“While we do see a lot of professionals moving to the UAE, we are also seeing investors relocating with their families to start their own businesses in the UAE as the UAE government amends the Federal Business Companies Law,” he added.