Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Middle East, has emerged as a safe haven for the wealthy Russians trying to avoid sanctions from the West.
An unprecedented number of Russian billionaires and entrepreneurs are entering the UAE, the BBC reported on the 5th (local time).
According to a report cited by the broadcaster, in the first quarter of this year, real estate purchases by Russian nationals in Dubai increased by 67%. Dubai-based real estate firm Modern Living told the show that it had hired a number of Russian-speaking agents.
Thiago Caldas, CEO of Modern Living, said, "Russians are not just looking for a second home in Dubai, not just for investment."
Many multinational companies and Russian startups are also relocating their employees to the UAE.
A blockchain technology company with offices in Russia and Ukraine said it had sent hundreds of employees to Dubai after the war broke out. Global companies such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Google are also closing their Russian offices and relocating some employees to Dubai.
In response to this, the BBC said, "There is definitely a brain drain."
In addition, as Russia was blocked from the international payment system due to Western sanctions, Russians' cryptocurrency payments are on the rise, the broadcaster added.
The UAE does not impose sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine. It also continues to grant visas to Russians not on the sanctions list.
It is estimated that tens of thousands of people have left Russia in the past two months, the broadcaster said. Although the exact size cannot be confirmed, a Russian economist estimates that up to 200,000 people may have left Russia in the 10 days since the war began.