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Why is Dubai a top city for remote workers globally?

Dubai surpassed other cities in air connectivity and internet accessibility.

Why is Dubai a top city for remote workers globally?
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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As organizations worldwide accept new working norms and employees flock to embrace flexible working, Dubai is a hot spot for remote workers.

According to research by real estate broker Savills, the city’s quality of life and prime rents are considered integral factors. The study ranked 20 prime residential markets by their popularity among long-term remote workers. The 2023 Executive Nomad Index study rated the world’s top cities based on internet speed, quality of life, climate, air connectivity, and prime rents.

The emirate’s fintech and financial sectors are also attracting senior hybrid workers, many of which have been impacted by the tech industry layoffs this year.

“Many have been impacted by layoffs across global tech firms,” said Swapnil Pillai, Associate Director of Savills Middle East Research. “They are exploring the city as a base to support these thriving sectors.”

He added, “Most are Dinkies [Dual-income, no kids], and they favor high residential buildings in Downtown Dubai, close to the DIFC, the financial hub, or Dubai Marina for proximity to Media City and Internet City.”

“Most of the city’s co-working spaces are operating at near 100% occupancy, which supports Dubai’s ranking as a top destination for executive nomads.”

The index ranked 20 destinations with a digital nomad visa program or similar arrangements. The cities must have a favorable climate all year round, high quality of life, and prime real estate sectors.

Dubai notably surpassed other cities in air connectivity and internet accessibility.

For the first time, Abu Dhabi has entered the list. The capital city has been ranked as the fourth-best city in which to live in its 2023 Executive Nomad Index.

Stephen Forbes, Head of Abu Dhabi at Savills, noted the emirate’s expanding global outlook over recent years. It has grown popular among executive nomads from Northern Europe, with remote working visas and golden visas available to lure property investors and global talent, contributing to its appeal.

The city’s free zones offer business incentives and have also improved its popularity among corporate entities.

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