UAE ranking improves further as preferred destination for residence

The UAE’s status as a safe-haven strengthened further with the country’s ranking improving further in Global Residence and Citizenship Program (GRCP) 2016 report.

The UAE continued to lead the region as the most attractive country for residence, while, globally, it’s ranked 13 in this year’s GRCP rating –  jumping two places as compared to last year’s.

Released by residence and citizenship planning firm Henley & Partners, the annual report ranks 19 most relevant residence-by-investment program as well as the top eight citizenship-by-investment program available throughout the world.

Commenting on the UAE’s ranking, Marco Gantenbein, Managing Partner of Henley & Partners in the Middle East, said: “Globally and particularly in the Mena region, the UAE continues to be a leading and preferred destination for residence and ranks very highly in our annual indexes. This year, the UAE has been able to move up two spots from last year’s ranking, especially because it scores well on some of the residence benchmark indicators including Reputation, Quality of Life, Tax, Processing Time and Quality of Processing.”

The GRCP details the outcomes of the Global Residence Program Index (GRPI) and the Global Citizenship Program Index (GCPI). These two Indexes gauge and reflect the relative worth of residence and citizenship programs around the world through a benchmarking process. They analyze a broad range of factors such as immigration law, tax and quality of living, as well as transparency, risk and compliance issues, from multiple sources to produce an overall global view and ranking of the different investment migration program.

GRPI key insights

Out of the 19 residence program reviewed, Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program has again emerged as the world’s best residence-by-investment program, with a score of 80 out of 100. It is followed by Belgium (78) and Austria (77) in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Portugal’s program continues to see high demand from the Mena region, including expats from the UAE.

For the second year in a row, Malta’s Individual Investor Program (MIIP) is the top ranking citizenship-by-investment program in the world, with a score of 73 out of 100. The Mediterranean island nation is followed by Cyprus (71), and Antigua and Barbuda (62) in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

Residence and citizenship planning has established itself as an important industry over the last few years, providing a rapidly growing number of wealthy individuals the privileges of visa-free travel as well as  better security, quality of life and education in exchange for a significant and meaningful economic contribution.

China, Russia and CIS countries have the highest demand for citizenship-by-investment programmes. In terms of the MIIP, Russia and CIS countries have the highest demand, closely followed by the Mena region.