Rising Opportunities in Emerging Markets

Emerging markets hold significant potential for new citizenship and residency pathways, as countries seek to attract investment and entrepreneurial talent, says Michael Waechter, Director of Abode Options.

The UAE has transformed into a financial hub for the Middle East and Central Asia, drawing expatriates in droves in the process. In fact, expats have been pivotal in constructing and populating the UAE, which, in 1980, accommodated only one million people compared to today’s thriving community of 9.5 million.

Meanwhile, Dubai, the UAE’s bustling business epicentre, has transcended its origins as a modest trading outpost to emerge as one of the globe’s most iconic cities. It is also home to Abode Options, an immigration and citizenship-by- investment firm that was established in the UAE to empower global citizens.

Over the years, the firm has helped 500 clients in obtaining citizenship or residency across 14 different countries. It has expanded its footprint beyond the UAE, branching out to India, Kenya, Seychelles, and the United Kingdom.

Michael Waechter, Abode Options’ Director, says his clients are int-erested in Caribbean countries such as Dominica and St. Kitts & Nevis due to their favourable tax regimes, relatively low investment requirements, fast-track processing and visa-free travel to many countries. Likewise, European countries, such as Portugal, Greece, and Spain, have gained popularity given their attractive lifestyles, access to quality education and healthcare, and potential paths to citizenship after obtaining residency.

UAE is in Demand

However, according to Waechter, investment migration has recently made its mark in the Middle East. “In the past few years, the UAE has emerged as a sought-after destination following the introduction of the Golden Visa, offering compelling benefits such as lucrative business prospects, investment opportunities, and strategic access to global markets,” he remarks.

Investment migration remains a relatively new concept in the Middle East. The UAE initially introduced the UAE Golden Visa in 2019, subsequently revamping it in 2022 to enhance accessibility and affordability.

This programme aims to grant long-term residency to foreign nationals, enabling them to reside, work, or pursue education in the UAE while enjoying exclusive advantages. The visa can be extended for 5 or 10 years, depending on specific categories.

There are several pathways to qualify: investors can meet the criteria by investing AED 2 million in a UAE- accredited investment fund or by possessing a commercial licence with a minimum of AED 2 million in capital or demonstrating payment of at least AED 250,000 in annual government taxes.

Real estate investors with properties worth AED 2 million can secure a renewable 5-year visa. Entrepreneurs with innovative projects valued at AED 500,000 can obtain a 5-year visa, while there are also options for highly qualified professionals.

“The UAE’s residency pathways stand as an immensely appealing choice for both individuals and families seeking to relocate to a vibrant, cosmopolitan nation renowned for its high quality of life. Its inclusive eligibility criteria cater to a diverse array of applicants, reflecting the UAE government’s dedication to enhancing the programme’s appeal. The country’s exceptional standard of living and thriving economy position it as an ideal destination for both residency and professional pursuits,” Waechter explains.

Additionally, Waechter highlights the increasing interest among crypto investors in investment migration due to its capacity to diversify portfolios, access favourable tax structures, and offer heightened mobility and flexibility. “The UAE is also among the destinations that pique the interest of crypto investors, along with Portugal and Malta,” Waechter notes.

A Changing Landscape

However, he observes that increased regulatory scrutiny, programme alterations, and suspensions consistently present new opportunities and challenges for both investment migration clients and businesses.

Businesses that remain adaptable amidst these changes are better positioned to thrive in this burgeoning market. An effective approach involves offering clients supplementary services. “Enhancing the allure of the investment migration journey can be achieved by delivering tailored support throughout the entire process. Businesses can extend their offerings to include services such as tax planning, wealth management, and family office services. Additionally, streamlining the application process, ensuring transparency in costs, and emphasising exceptional customer service are crucial,” he advises.

Moreover, Waechter highlights the substantial benefits the investment migration market can reap from embracing digital transformation. Utilising technology to streamline procedures, elevate client interactions, and enhance overall efficiency can greatly impact the industry.

Expanding Horizons

Abode Options aims for significant global expansion in the coming years. This strategy involves establishing a presence in various emerging markets and fostering partnerships with local firms to cater to a broader clientele. As pathways in Europe and the Caribbean undergo modifications, “emerging markets hold promise for introducing fresh citizenship and residency programmes aimed at attracting investments and entrepreneurial talent,” Waechter adds. “I firmly believe in the continuous growth of the investment migration industry in the years ahead, and I am committed to adapting our firm to meet the evolving needs of my clients,” he concludes.

Pin It on Pinterest

Skip to content