- Surge in demand: UAE’s Golden Visas and second passports attract wealthy individuals.
- Real estate developers target investors for the Golden Visa route, driving demand.
- UAE projected to welcome 4,500 new millionaires, boosting Golden Visa demand.
- COVID-19 and geopolitical tensions fuel desire for alternative citizenship options.
- Increased demand for Golden Visas from cash-rich Indians and other countries.
- UAE’s Golden Visa starts at Dh2 million, an attractive option.
- Indians and Americans lead the demand, with British and South Africans also interested.
Dubai, UAE – The appetite for UAE’s coveted Golden Visas among high net-worth individuals is skyrocketing, with an increasing number of wealthy residents also seeking second, and sometimes third, passports.According to the Henley Private Wealth Migration Report, the UAE is projected to welcome around 4,500 new millionaires this year, attracting the second-highest net inflow of High Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs) globally. Real estate developers are launching off-plan projects targeting investors seeking the Golden Visa route, contributing to the increased demand.
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Veronica Cotdemiey, CEO of Citizenship Invest, noted that the race to secure access to global markets has triggered an explosive boom in the residency and citizenship-by-investment industries worldwide. As a result, the demand for Golden Visas in the UAE has witnessed significant growth.Experts predict that the influx of HNWIs includes investors from various regions, including the United States. Shai Zamanian, a US-licensed lawyer and EB-5 expert, anticipates a substantial influx of American investors attracted to the potential benefits of the Golden Visa and the opportunity to contribute to the UAE economy. Zamanian expects a surge in Golden Visas granted to American nationals alongside increased capital inflow.
Furthermore, as some European Union nations phased out their Golden Visa programs or tightened real estate investment rules, there has been an upsurge in demand for UAE Golden Visas among wealthy individuals from India and other cash-rich countries. Moreover, many UAE residents retain their second citizenship as a “security blanket” even after acquiring a second passport.
The COVID-19 pandemic, impending recession, and geopolitical tensions have acted as wake-up calls for wealthy individuals, driving the desire for alternative citizenship and residency options. Veronica Cotdemiey highlighted a 63% increase in applications for second citizenship from UAE residents in 2022 compared to the previous year and a projected 36% increase in 2023 compared to 2022.
Henley and Partners, an international residence and citizenship advisory firm, reported a surge in inquiries for investment migration programs, recording a 36% increase in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous quarter and a remarkable 47% increase compared to the same period in 2022.
Compared to other citizenship programs such as Portugal’s, where the minimum investment required is $280,000, the UAE Golden Visa remains an attractive option starting at Dh2 million (approximately $544,000). The United States’ program, on the other hand, requires a higher investment of $800,000, held for a minimum of five years.
Indians and Americans are currently the top nationalities driving the demand for Golden Visas and second passports. British and South African nationals also feature in the top ten. Additionally, individuals from countries such as Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Egypt are increasingly exploring Residency and Citizenship by Investment programs to secure their families’ future.
As restrictions and tighter financial policies continue globally, the demand for second citizenship among investors shows no signs of diminishing. The trend suggests that wealth migration patterns are reverting to pre-pandemic levels, with Australia expected to reclaim the top spot for net inflows, according to Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley and Partners.
The demand for second passports and Golden Visas reflects a growing desire among high net-worth individuals to secure global mobility, safeguard their financial interests.