It’s sunny and politically stable, there is little financial transparency and it’s easy enough to invest in a business or property and get a residency visa in return.
On its website, the Dubai-based lifestyle magazine Russian Emirates offers readers a selection of commonly asked questions. They include everyday queries about where to find Russian food in the United Arab Emirates, and whether there are Russian- speaking doctors there. But by far the most popular question on the Russian-language magazine is this one, with over 83,000 views: “Can I get UAE citizenship?”
Over the past two weeks — that is, since Russia invaded Ukraine and Western nations imposed sanctions as a result — the readership of the Russian Emirates website has almost doubled to nearly 300,000 views in a week.
That is a trend that is likely to continue, experts say, as Russians look for ways to avoid sanctions and secure their wealth. Some are likely also trying to escape what they see as an increasingly perilous political situation at home.