More people are thinking about retiring abroad in 2022, and they are looking towards sunnier horizons. These days are filled with strong tensions stemming from the geopolitical situation involving Ukraine and Russia.
After two years during which the pandemic managed to change our lives, probably for good, people are getting sick to live in fear and uncertainty. The last couple of years have been beyond nightmarish. Right when we believed that we were getting closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, things were going mad out there again.
In 2022, investors are flocking to digital assets, and online payments are gaining a lot of traction.
More than that, there’s a growing number of institutional investors and wealth managers as well in the UAE. They plan to increase exposure to crypto assets between 2022 and 2023, according to a survey released by Nickel Digital Asset Management, based in London.
Digital assets are built around the secure blockchain database infrastructure. Crypto is also enjoying high interest from investors owing to potential high returns as well.
Ralf Glabischnig, who is the founder and board member of Swiss crypto hub CV Labs, had something interesting to state about the market in Dubai. He explained that this would “grow faster compared to anywhere else.”
More than that, he also made sure to attribute the current interest from investors and entrepreneurs to the emirate’s business environment.
“The most important thing when you create a new industry is talent. A lot of smart people came to Dubai and stayed here,” he stated.
The UAE introduced all kinds of measures to boost digital assets trading amidst the rising interest in crypto.
For obvious reasons, people are thinking about retiring abroad, to better locations. The UAE is one of the most popular choices that have people moving over there. In this particular article, we’ll explore the main financial reasons for which retiring in Dubai is a great choice in 2022.
UAE is a crypto-friendly location – Investing in crypto grants you financial freedom
This is the first main reason for which the UAE is one of the best potential retirement locations – understanding the benefits of living in a crypto-friendly zone is essential these days.
In 2022, financial freedom has become more important than ever. Just take a look at what Russians are dealing with these days, following the sanctions that their country is seeing due to poor decisions made by their leader.
As the press agency Reuters recently revealed, crypto firms in the United Arab Emirates are being flooded with tons of requests from Russians trying their best to liquidate billions of dollars of digital assets. They are currently seeking a safe haven for their fortunes, according to multiple financial sources.
Russian people cannot use their credit and debit cards emitted by Visa and Mastercard by Russian banks. They cannot use them anywhere in the world. It’s safe to say the fact that this is the main reason for which they turned to crypto following the sanctions that Russia has been hit with.
Coindesk, which is an important crypto publication, notes that the crypto firms based in the UAE have been seeing tons of requests by Russian clients to liquidate billions of dollars-worth of digital assets.
The online publication mentions that one crypto executive claims to have received a number of requests from Swiss brokers in order tons of requests to liquidate billions in bitcoin (BTC).
“We have one guy – I don’t know who he is, but he came through a broker – and they’re like, ‘We want to sell 125,000 bitcoin.’ And I’m like, ‘What? That’s $6 billion, guys.’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah, we’re going to send it to a company in Australia.'”
The same publication noted that there are other Russians are looking to use their crypto to invest in property in the UAE.
Dubai has been for a really long time a dream destination for Russians. These people have been among the top visitors and buyers of real estate there. It’s important to note the fact that this has been happening long before the Ukraine invasion began.
Another issue that is important to mention is the fact that the UAE has previously stated that the country is not siding with either Western allies or Moscow. UAE presidential adviser Anwar Gargash late last month, said the Gulf state “believes that taking sides would only lead to more violence.” He also said that the UAE’s focus was to “encourage all parties to resort to diplomatic action.”
1. Dubai – the crypto city and its culture
Dubai is the largest city in the UAE. It’s rising from the Arabian Desert, and it’s bordered by the Persian Gulf. This amazing city is said to be similar to an oasis. It’s worth noting that the multiethnic population, the jaw-dropping skyscrapers, and the pro-business atmosphere are the best contrast that you can have to such a landscape.
Dubai managed to emerge as a magnetic tax-free crossroads between worlds. The city is embracing its position as an international city that reflects perfectly the reality of the world – both controversy and progress.
As Cointelegraph notes, Dubai is now at the center of all kinds of global tensions, but the UAE has managed to gain a reputation as a neutral player.
Just keep in mind the fact that Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are on the northern side of the Gulf. You can find Yemen to the South.
It’s essential to highlight that the amazing mix of relative geopolitical neutrality, technologically advanced military, and also warm and extremely welcoming business environment invites comparisons to Switzerland. This is the mountain nation where European monarchs and aristocrats have long deposited their gold.
The same online publication mentioned above notes that Dubai Multi Commodities Center’s (DMCC) marketing materials boast the following fact: “Dubai gives you access to 65% of the world’s GDP in 8 hours or less,” owing to its location in the middle of Afro-Eurasia.
All this makes Dubai a natural meeting point between Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. This reality is both geographic and cultural – it’s worth noting the fact that foreigners make up almost 90% of the population. Dubai International Airport, or DXB, is among the busiest ones that you can find in the world. The venue handles about 88 million passengers per year.
There’s a massive expat population that gives Dubai amazing beating energy.
Despite the pandemic, 2021 saw this city hosting more important crypto events. Another important issue that’s worth noting is the fact that Dubai managed to keep covid under control, and this was partly due to the often mandatory testing that was required on arrival.
Back in May 2021, AIBC UAE, an artificial intelligence and blockchain summit, was held in Dubai Festival City. This was right near the construction site of the Dubai Creek Tower. After it’s completed, it is expected to rise even higher than the Burj Khalifa.
October 2021 saw more important events. Such extremely high-class events include the following: Crypto Expo Dubai, the World of Web3 Summit, or WOW Summit, and the Future Blockchain Summit. The latter was a part of GITEX.
This is a massive technology conference where nations and huge companies have set up booths to present their best innovations to the world. The World Blockchain Summit even held there a charity boxing match between crypto influencers, as revealed by Cointelegraph.
2. Dubai is compared to essential reps of crypto culture
Dubai is like Silicon Valley, Miami, and Berlin when it comes to the crypto culture. But it’s definitely more traditional. Dubai is an indoor city with a corporate atmosphere. The Bitcoin 2021 in Miami was pretty much like a beach music festival in terms of energy and dress code; but Dubai is suited up all the way.
Kirill Mishanin, the co-founder of Infodriver Capital, says Dubai is an attractive place to set up a business:
“Dubai is very crypto-friendly and blockchain-oriented — you can easily set up a crypto-related company in the DMCC Free Zone with zero taxes. There are also a lot of events which the government supports, and it is easy to buy cars or property with crypto.”
Besides conferences, there are other crypto events held in Dubai as well. Some of them are organized informally, and others consist of networking meetups.
The city is very business-oriented, and the narratives around crypto’s perceived political goals are mostly absent here, unlike the huge visions of Silicon Valley hackers who are controlling their business from dark college rooms.
Free zones in UAE
The UAE is operating various free zones. These are places where noncitizens and nonresidents can incorporate wholly-owned firms in order to receive visas and trade licenses as well.
Thankfully, there are great entities such as the Crypto Expat company that understands the importance of getting a Visa easily for those interested. According to the official website, Crypto Expat can help prepare a Visa for all individuals who want or plan to retire to the UAE. This way, people can get the chance to build their company easily and enjoy all the benefits of developing it in the UAE.
The UAE offers growing businesses stability, larger markets, steady growth, investor-friendly processes, and a tax-free regime.
Anyway, getting back to the Free Zones issue, DMCC is a pretty relevant example of such a location. Besides the regular fare of gold, team, diamond, and coffee trading, it also hosts the dedicated DMCC Crypto Centre in the shiny Almas Tower. From there, it is overlooking the Dubai Marina.
This is the main location in which the blockchain companies are paying no taxes. More than that, here they can easily sponsor residence visas for owners, employees, and their families. Amazing, isn’t it?
One interesting thing that is worth noting is the fact that DMCC signed a deal back in 2021 to build a 100,000-square-foot precious-metals refinery. The essential issue is that it will use blockchain in order to track metal production and issue “financial assets in the form of stablecoins”. Such stablecoins include the following ones: GoldCoin, SilverCoin, PlatinumCoin, PalladiumCoin, and RhodiumCoin. All these are built on Ethereum. One unit represents one gram of metal.
More than 400 crypto businesses are now functional in the city. Ahmed Bin Sulayem who is the executive chairman and CEO of DMCC said that the number to increase to more than 1,000 by 2023.
According to official notes, this view is supported by Marwan Al Zarouni, CEO of the Dubai Blockchain Center. He recently said that Dubai could be seen as a city that supports crypto and its underlying tech – the blockchain. Dubai is also willing to create good and useful regulations for the industry.
“Five years ago, you wouldn’t see people coming to Dubai to do a cryptocurrency business. […] We’re open-minded, and we’re willing to change regulations with reason.”
Another important example of a Free Zone is Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) – this one has enacted specific regulations to help attract companies involved in crypto trading. Maryam Al Suwaidi, CEO of the UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority, has recently stated the following:
“DWTCA is looking to support businesses underpinned by blockchain and cryptographic technologies.”
Dubai is the heart of a lot of crypto companies, which include the exchange BitOasis, with MidChains located in nearby the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi.
3. Dubai’s financial infrastructure is next-gen
Besides the fact that there are no taxes involved for corporations, the personal tax here for Dubai residents is 0% on all income of all forms. This is regardless of whether this is earned in Dubai or someplace else.
All crypto traders probably agree on one thing – this sounds like paradise! It’s important to note the fact that things are not quite so for citizens of the United States. The US is one of the only countries that taxes the global income of non-resident citizens.
Cointelegraph noted that due to the fact that we have no taxation here, tax return is a foreign concept, for instance. People here have no obligation to report their trading activity. But companies are required to keep their accounts in accordance with the rules of the Free Zone in which they are incorporated.
“A 5% VAT charged by non-Free Zone “mainland” companies is the only relevant exception, and non-residents can get tax reimbursed upon departure. The UAE’s fiat currency, the dirham, is pegged to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 3.67 dirhams per dollar.”
Another important issue that is worth noting is the fact that there are various local banks that are operating in the city. On the other hand, accounts are not generally available for tourists.
The lack of taxes that we have in this country, mixed with the fact that there are tough bank secrecy laws and opportunities for offshore corporate structures, caused the UAE to be temporarily added to the European Union’s tax haven list. This happened back in 2017, although it was removed, alongside Switzerland, in 2019.
Back in March 2021, the government revealed the fact that there is a drive for public feedback regarding crypto laws. They were particularly pertaining to the issuance of security tokens. With a soft-handed approach to regulation, trading cryptos could not be easier in Dubai.
Dubai to see over 1,000 crypto businesses in 2022
This year, Dubai is expecting the nation to see over 1,000 crypto-related businesses. They are expected to be operating during the massive efforts that the nation is showing in roder to boost its digital economy.
The free zones in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well have already managed to implement an advanced framework in order to encourage entrepreneurs in the crypto space to set up exchanges while, at the same time, crafting rules and regulations that can protect consumers.
“Five years ago you wouldn’t see people coming to Dubai to do the cryptocurrency business … we’re open-minded, and we’re willing to change regulations with reason,” Dr. Marwan Al Zahrouni, chief executive of the Dubai Blockchain Centre, said at a conference held during Gitex Global in Dubai.
4. Dubai has a new crypto law – Four things worth noting about it
The residents in Dubai woke up on March 10 to breaking news that announced the introduction in Dubai of the first virtual asset regulation.
This shook the crypto space and left a lot of people wondering about the impact that it may have on their crypto investment and entrepreneurial projects. Here are the most important issues that you should know about the subject.
Check out the four essential things that you should know about this new law.
- Crypto regulation in Dubai is a move into the future
As we noted on various occasions, having regulatory approaches in the UAE for crypto is a step forward. The UAE continues to remain a jurisdiction that’s placed at the forefront of crypto regulation, and this is great. With this move of introducing crypto regulation, Dubai moves forward into the future and rides the wave of innovation.
It takes a step forward and the target is to create a comprehensive legal framework. This is set to protect investors and also to get more virtual asset startups to do business here in the UAE. This latest move that’s taking place regarding crypto regulation is nothing else than a promising development of the crypto space industry in this location.
- This is not the very first crypto law in the UAE
Expat Media reveals that this move that’s taking place in the UAE is not exactly the first one of its kind. But, if we want to deliver correct info, it’s imperative to note that the regulation has been revealed and presented in the media as the “first” crypto regulation in the UAE. It’s extremely important to note the fact that “the Security and Commodities Authority (SCA) has issued in 2020 Decisions No.23 of 2020 concerning Crypto Assets Activities Regulation, which applies to anyone offering financial services relating to crypto assets in the UAE.”
More than that, we should also note the fact that the Abu Dhabi Global Market financial free zone already features an exhaustive legal framework in place.
As a result of all the things that we mentioned above, the regulation is still important, and it brings further clarity and strength to the existing regulations in the UAE. This means that it should be welcomed by the crypto community with joy and excitement.
- Establishing a new independent regulator
This crypto law is establishing a new and independent regulator. This has the main purpose to set the very first authority, called the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA).
This entity has the main goal of overseeing virtual assets activities in Dubai.
According to the official reports, VARA will also be responsible for regulating and licensing financial activities related to virtual assets (e.g., operating and managing virtual assets platforms, exchange services between virtual assets and currencies etc.).
It’s also important to note the fact that even though VARA has been described as an independent authority, there are plans for close cooperation between this specific entity and other onshore financial regulators such as the UAE Central Bank and SCA.
- The crypto regulation is limited to Dubai, but more will come
Last but not least, it’s important to note the fact that the crypto regulation is limited to Dubai only at the moment. We can expect more similar moves to take place in the UAE. Once the regulation proves itself useful and effective, and VARA’s implementation becomes final, VARA will be issuing more regulations and guidelines in order to set out the process and requirement of acquiring the following according to official notes:
“the technical security requirements imposed on Virtual Asset businesses, anti-money laundering and KYC obligations to comply with and others.”
Other important data implications will be involved, and an eye must be kept on the matter.
5. UAE’s plans for a government-issued digital asset could remove associated crypto risks
Unregulated cryptos are already popular in the UAE, and it’s essential to keep in mind that a government-issued coin could reduce the risks that are associated with crypto. Despite the fact that lots of crypto enthusiasts are saying that crypto should not have anything to do with regulation, it’s imperative that such regulations regarding the use of crypto are implemented. Only then the mass adoption of digital assets and their underlying tech can be achieved.
This has been one of the most important goals that the crypto industry has set its eyes on, and regulation is an essential ingredient.
Tech Monitor notes that the ‘govcoin’ or CBDC (central bank digital currency) is one of seven initiatives that have been set in place to boost the digital transformation of the financial services industry. It’s also important to note the fact that the CBUAE’s 2023 to 2026 strategy will involve something more.
We are talking about adopting the latest AI and big data solutions and also accelerating the adoption of cloud computing.
Not too long ago, the European Central Bank announced that it had decided to “launch the investigation phase of a digital euro project. “
Two UAE-based fintech experts talked to Tech Monitor and made sure to share their thoughts on the new digital currency plans and the likely obstacles to its implementation.
“Regulatory bodies should come with a solution that brings the benefits of crypto while eliminating the high risks associated with these products,” veteran CIO and fintech and digital transformation adviser Mohamed Roushdy told Tech Monitor.
He also said that introducing CBDCs would eventually eliminate the speculative nature of cryptos. It would also bring massive benefits, including lowering transaction fees and enabling high-speed transactions with high transparency and auditing.
“On other aspects, we see healthy competition among regional countries in being innovative and leading the region in fintech and start-up ecosystems,” said Roushdy.
He made sure to highlight the fact that the UAE has been leading; he made sure to note that it would like to keep that position of a leader when it comes to digital currencies.
The shift to a digital economy is imperative today for all nations interested in keeping up with the times. It’s either riding the wave of innovation or being left behind. The UAE understood this perfectly, and it’s making strong efforts to shift to a digital economy.
Companies need to embrace the digital business model and innovative ways of thinking. They have to get on board with the future, and this is what Dubai is allowing businesses there.
This is a part of the UAE’s moves to diversify its economy and avoid a reliance only on the traditional export.
Relocating to Dubai is the best choice for all crypto enthusiasts and people with a fresh mindset and disruptive way of thinking.
UAE is one of the most luxurious and desired places on earth at the moment. There are a lot of reasons for which you will definitely want to spend your wealth here but one of the most notable ones is the extreme financial freedom and availability to embrace the future and new tech.