|18 February, 2019

2018 witnessed a 30 % increase in demand for second citizenship programs by UAE expats

Demand is mainly driven by necessity for overall life stability and visa-free travel

According to Citizenship Invest, market leader specialized in the fastest citizenship programs to legally obtain a second passport, the demand for fast-track second passport programs by high net worth expats residing in the UAE has increased by 30 % in 2018. The main driving factors for this demand is the need for a stronger citizenship and passport that allows applicants to have more stability for their families and businesses, as well as the ability to travel with less restrictions.

Second passport programs are in demand by various nationalities residing in the UAE, however, Syrian expats have topped the list accounting for 14 % of total demand. Applicants from Pakistan residing in the UAE have accounted for 12 %, followed by Indian residents at 10 % and finally Egyptian applicants at 9 %.

The increase in demand is also attributed to the latest legislation amendments of the most popular CBI programs among Middle Eastern investors. Countries such as St. Kitts & Nevis, and Antigua & Barbuda have decreased application costs by 50%, which have made it a much more accessible process for people in the region. Also the launch of new citizenship by investment programs such as Moldova  and Turkey have encourage that surge on demand.  


Veronica Cotdemiey, CEO of Citizenship Invest, commented, “The Caribbean citizenship programs are still top on the list, however, since its launch in late 2018, Moldova has been receiving a lot of interest from expats residing in the UAE. As for European Citizenship, Cyprus is still the most attractive fast-track option for the ultrarich.”

Citizenship programs are considered a main source of revenue for the economies of these countries. Government offers and price reduction have exponentially increased the number of citizenship applications. According to Antigua’s annual budget report, the country was able to generate around USD 100 Million with over 600 worldwide applications in 2018 through the help of their CBI program. On the other hand, significant contributions from the Cypriot citizenship program have assisted in Cyprus’ gradual recovery from the 2013 financial crisis.


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