Dubai among world's top cities for residence-by-investment programmes

Emirate scores high due to its tax-friendly policies and affordable, high-standard-of-living options

Dubai skyline. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

Dubai skyline. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

Dubai is one of the most attractive destinations in the world for wealthy people who are looking to acquire residence visas overseas in exchange for investments, according to a new index by Henley & Partners. 

Dubai ranked 11th in the new Best Residence-by-Investment Cities for Business Index, which studies 25 leading cities globally.

Henley & Partners said the emirate scored high due to its tax-friendly regime, as well as affordable and high-standard-of-living options. 

The index ranks key cities around the world that international entrepreneurs, company owners, professionals and high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) can acquire residence in through "investment migration programmes". 

The cities were ranked according to ten main categories that represent the most common factors that people consider before relocating abroad: lifestyle, tax, education, real estate, healthcare, security, infrastructure, stability, COVID safety and investment migration program. 


Dubai scored highest overall in the tax category, owing to its zero corporate taxation policy. The city also ranked second when it comes to COVID safety. 

Overall, London topped the list, scoring high in several parameters, including education, security and stability, followed by New York in the second place, which scored highest overall in the index for education. 

Sydney, Singapore and Zurich, in third, fourth and fifth places, respectively, all scored highest in security, infrastructure and stability. Sydney took the number one spot overall for security. 

The rest of the top ten cities are Los Angeles, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Vienna and Toronto. 

Residence or citizenship by investment has been popular among HNWIs who seek to relocate to other countries in pursuit of better lifestyle and living standards.  

In some countries, foreigners are granted a citizenship if they invest a certain amount in real estate or business. 

In the UAE, several visa programmes have recently been introduced to attract talent and investors. One of the most popular options for entrepreneurs is the golden visa, which offers long-term residence permits to foreigners without the need of a national sponsor.  

The Best Residence-by-Investment (RBI) Cities for Business Index 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by  Seban Scaria) 

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© ZAWYA 2021

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