The Pope’s historic visit to the UAE is another symbolic advance in the Emirates becoming a major global business and finance hub, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations.
The comments from Nigel Green, founder and chief executive of deVere Group, a major employer in the UAE, come ahead of Pope Francis’ trip to Abu Dhabi this week, which is the first time a pope has visited the Arabian peninsula.
Mr Green notes: “This is a truly historic papal visit; a major international event.
“Pope Francis will bring a message of the importance of building global relations and peaceful coexistence.
“Another key theme will be of welcoming immigrants, which, naturally, has huge significance to the UAE, where the majority of the population is made up of expat workers.”
He continues: “The Pope’s words have immense power and influence. With his visit and the messages he imparts, the Pope is on many levels representing another symbolic advance in the UAE becoming a truly global, outward-looking destination – the type of destination that is intuitively attractive to foreign business and investment.”
The deVere CEO has been a vocal proponent of, and advocate for, the UAE moving ever further ahead on the world stage.
Last year, he said Dubai and Abu Dhabi could soon join London, New York and Hong Kong in the world’s top 10 global financial centre rankings, thanks to new government laws affecting expatriates.
The observation comes as the UAE cabinet approved a new legislation that allows expatriates to remain in the country long after they retire.
“Dubai and Abu Dhabi are perennially popular destinations for ambitious expatriates looking to embark upon or further their careers because of the incredible possibilities offered in terms of finance, trade and commerce, plus the famous ‘can do’ attitude and the low tax environment in these destinations,” he said.
He added: “But they will become even more attractive locations for overseas talent thanks to the government passing these new laws that allow expats to stay on in the UAE long after they retire.
“With Dubai and Abu Dhabi becoming even-more appealing relocation destinations, recruiting more top talent here will inevitably become easier for companies that are based in these emirates.
“In addition, I believe that it will help drive further confidence in the UAE as a place for overseas firms to do business and invest. Dubai is already recognised as one of the most powerful financial centres in the world. But this new legislation will not only galvanise this position, but significantly strengthen it.”
He concluded: “This confirms my view that over the next decade, we can expect it to become one of the world’s top 10 international financial hubs to rival and more aggressively compete with stalwarts such as London, New York and Hong Kong. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are helped in this regard by having an independent regulator, an independent judicial system, a global financial exchange, a stable, pro-business government, a dynamic business community, world-class infrastructure and telecommunications, English as its defacto business language, and their enviable geographical location and time zone.”