Citizenship by Investment: UAE Citizens Prefer Certain Countries

  • Most invested-in passports are from the Caribbean
  • Most popular nationalities for investors include Lebanon, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh
  • Residency by investment programs, especially in Dubai continues to be a growing trend

Passport Legacy, a Swiss boutique firm with over 25 years of combined experience in the citizenship-by-investment industry has unveiled some of its latest findings based on its overall operations and customer inquiries over the first six months of 2022.

The most invested in passports from the UAE market during this span come from the Caribbean region, which includes countries such as Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and Saint Lucia, all of which provide many attractive incentives to their citizenship-by-investment programs such as the ability to visit over 160 countries visa-free as well as being exempt from paying certain taxes.

As for the nationalities that have been investing the most in second citizenships, this includes Lebanon, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh for various reasons with the most obvious one being the difficulty of travelling and the limited number of countries to which these passports allow their citizens travel to either visa-free or as visa-on-arrival.

Additional trends which have been noticed this year are the continuously growing trend of residency investment programs, especially in the UAE and cryptocurrency being used as its own currency to invest in passports.

Cryptocurrency allows for immediate and hassle-free payment without the need for the usually required bank documentation. It is also extremely secure and private in terms of being used as a transaction method that does not require any personal details on the part of the payee, but just their online crypto wallet address.

Founder and CEO of Passport Legacy, Jeffrey Henseler commented “We have witnessed a steady increase in people investing in passports, particularly in the last couple of years after the pandemic and have had very positive feedback in terms of foreign investment from all of our clients, which is a great sign and a testament to the importance of investing in a second passport. We also believe that the evolution of this industry in terms of now being able to invest in second citizenship by using cryptocurrency as a transaction will only add to its popularity, especially with the benefits that it provides, especially to the countries that are currently facing financial and security risk issues”.

Residency by investment programs, especially in Dubai is another key industry update, and a growing topic in the news ever since it was introduced back in 2019, and in which we have witnessed a large influx of expats investing in the city. As a melting pot of both business and tourism, it makes sense that many nationalities would want to take advantage of Dubai’s highly beneficial tax incentives, premium healthcare facilities and first-class educational institutions.

Saint Kitts and Nevis is also another great option for expats as it is currently the oldest citizenship by investment program and offers an interesting perspective into the industry. As the initial point of origin, the country is often looked to by other CBI programs when the time comes to update policies and requirements. It is also becoming an increasingly sought-after citizenship for acquiring through cryptocurrency, an approach that we are certain will become more commonly adopted by other CBI and RBI programs around the world soon.

As for Saint Lucia’s citizenship by investment program, this popular destination has also seen a sharp rise in investor interest as it offers many of the same benefits as other CBI programs at a cost of only USD 100,000, which is the lowest amount for any of the citizenship or residency by investment programs available.

Other citizenship by investment programs offer additional benefits outside of their own country. For instance, obtaining Grenadian citizenship allows one to apply for the E2 visa in the USA and allows investors to set up a business and live within any of the country’s 50 states.


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