Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) could soon join London, New York and Hong Kong in the world’s top 10 global financial centre rankings, thanks to new government laws affecting expatriates.
This was the bold message from Nigel Green, the founder and CEO of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.
The observation comes as the UAE cabinet on Sunday approved a new legislation that allows expatriates to remain in the country long after they retire.
“Dubai and Abu Dhabi are perennially popular destinations for ambitious expatriates looking to embark upon or further their careers because of the incredible possibilities offered in terms of finance, trade and commerce, plus the famous ‘can do’ attitude and the low tax environment in these destinations,” said Green.
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“But they will become even more attractive locations for overseas talent thanks to the government passing these new laws that allow expats to stay on in the UAE long after they retire,” he added. “With Dubai and Abu Dhabi becoming even-more appealing relocation destinations, recruiting more top talent here will inevitably become easier for companies that are based in these emirates."
“In addition, I believe that it will help drive further confidence in the UAE as a place for overseas firms to do business and invest. Dubai is already recognised as one of the most powerful financial centres in the world. But this new legislation will not only galvanise this position, but significantly strengthen it," said Green.
“This confirms my view that over the next decade, we can expect it to become one of the world’s top 10 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 in this regard 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 defacto business language, and their enviable geographical location and time zone,” Green added.
“We fully welcome this progressive policy shift by the UAE government. It 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,” concluded the deVere CEO.
Earlier this year, Dubai was revealed as the number one city for graduates seeking a career in financial services, whilst London didn’t make the top 10, in an annual deVere Group survey.
“This survey highlights that the next generation of financial services professionals are open to looking beyond the traditional and more established global financial hubs. It underscores how cities such as Dubai, Barcelona and Cape Town are increasingly important international financial centres," he said.
“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 10 is interesting. Could it be that the respondents believe mainland Europe’s international financial centres offer more opportunities than post-Brexit London?” Green asked.
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