GITEX GLOBAL - October 2022 - Dubai

Dubai tops global index for air connectivity and ranks as third-best destination for digital nomads

UK nationals have long favoured Dubai for holiday and work, but the market also benefited from new demand from French, German, Swedish and Swiss buyers and long-term remote workers

Dubai has topped a global index for air connectivity and has ranked among the top three destinations in the world for digital nomads, according to recent research revealed by Savills as part of its Impacts 2022 programme.

Dubai, which extends its reach to more than 100 countries with more than 240 destinations, topped the Savills index for air connectivity, and ranked third on the Savills Executive Nomad Index, which ranks 15 destinations based on the favourable environment they create for long-term remote workers.

“Remote working enabled business owners from abroad to make Dubai their main hub,” Helen Tatham (below), the head of residential community sales and leasing at Savills Dubai said

“In 2020, rents and sales volumes saw increases not witnessed since 2014, driven both by existing renters who wanted to make Dubai their permanent home, and by an influx of new residents.

”Tatham added: “UK nationals have long favoured Dubai for holiday and work, but the market also benefited from new demand from French, German, Swedish and Swiss buyers.”

All the countries on Savills Executive Nomad Index either have a digital nomad visa programme, or equivalent, or in the case of the US and European countries, are already part of a large economic bloc that allows free movement of people for living or work.

They offer favourable climates year-round, a high quality of life, and have established prime residential markets.

“The modern executive nomad – a distant cousin of the freelance creative working from a cafe in Bali or Costa Rica – owns a villa in the Algarve or a condo in Miami, attends Zoom calls from an airy home office, and hops on a flight back to London, New York, or Geneva for the quarterly board meeting,” says Paul Tostevin (below), the head of Savills World Research.

“Provided travel connections are good and high-speed internet is reliable, individuals and families are motivated to relocate and are placing a greater emphasis on health, wellness and overall lifestyle.”

Digital nomad destinations ranked by Savills

Lisbon topped the ranking thanks to the high quality of life that Portugal offers. Low pollution and favourable climate are also advantages, Lisbon also offers strong physical connectivity, thanks to a well-connected international airport. Fellow Portuguese location, the Algarve, ranked 4th, offering many of the same benefits.

“Young professionals typically rent small city centre apartments,” Ricardo Garcia, head of residential, Savills Portugal commented. “While families look for larger homes in Lisbon or Cascais, a beachfront community close to the best international schools.”

Garcia added: “Tech executives and entrepreneurs are also drawn by Lisbon’s burgeoning status as a tech hub. Real estate costs are low and there is a strong local talent pool. Companies are moving their headquarters to Portugal. The area is becoming more and more international. I don’t see Lisbon or Portugal slowing down any time soon.”

Miami came in second as a global gateway city with warm climate and beaches, which has grown in appeal as a remote working destination in the US.

It has plenty of big-city benefits, including very good air connectivity, good digital infrastructure, a strong prime rental market, whilst offering a comparatively good quality of life.

After Dubai and Algarve, Barbados, which has the fastest internet in the Caribbean, ranked fifth, thanks to an appealing climate and good air connectivity. Barcelona came in sixth, benefitting from fast internet and strong global connectivity via air and rail.

“As the workplace has evolved to a new, more flexible model, executive nomads are turning what were previously holiday-homes markets into year-round ones,” Tostevin concluded.

“Certain locations in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, as well as cities such as Lisbon, Miami and Dubai offer them connectivity, favourable climates, and a high quality of life.”

Source: Arabian Business