Gulf nation aims high

Overseas Property | 20 Apr 2021

With luxury shopping malls, a vibrant night scene and year-round sunshine, Dubai - another place that styles itself the City of Gold - could allow you to lead a life much like the one you're used to in Hong Kong.

An advertisement in Chinese from the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre that invites Hongkongers to "make Dubai your next home" has recently been spotted on Facebook. The ad also points to the Gulf nation providing attractive benefits such as zero taxes, a liberal welfare system, the recognition of dual nationality and a powerful passport.

The reason behind the ad, which is in other languages too, is thought to be the United Arab Emirates' recent amendment of its nationality law to attract more foreign talent.

The unprecedented move would allow investors, professionals, people with special talents and their families to acquire Emirati nationality under certain conditions.

Although a program for people to acquire citizenship by this means has still to be launched, the UAE currently offers a long-term residence "golden visa."

People who have a public investment of at least 10 million dirhams (HK$21 million) or those with specialized talents will be granted a 10-year visa. And people who invest in a property to the tune of at least 5 million dirhams or entrepreneurs with an existing project with a minimum capital of 500,000 dirhams are eligible for a five-year visa.

And establishing a company there should be an easy job, for the UAE is working on a series of reforms to boost its competitiveness in doing business.

Currently ranked 16th on the World Bank's "ease of doing business" list (Hong Kong ranks third), the UAE has the ambitious goal of topping the ranking as soon as this year.

So will you be making Dubai your next home?



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