The Russian oligarchs who are now facing the brunt of economic ostracization instrumentalized by the US, UK, and the European Union are turning to the UAE as their safe haven.
The super-rich, who enjoy the patronage of the Russian president Vladimir Putin, has landed in Dubai in their private jets. This has been possible as unlike the West which has been united in its sanctions against the Russian regime and its enablers, the UAE has been agnostic about the war in Ukraine.
The UAE, which like the rest of the world, was suffering due to the pandemic is seeing a buzz in the high luxury market. Not only high-end properties but bankers, luxury car dealerships, and marinas are witnessing a stream of incoming customers secretly. And a significant number of these transactions are happening in cryptocurrencies, while some have been through established norms of currency transfers via intermediaries to ensure discretion.
Among the high-flying Russians that have reportedly set their sights on the Emirates is Roman Abramovich, who has been recently forced to sell English Premier League giants Chelsea.
Reports say that while there is a flurry of super-rich making their way into the UAE, the regular traffic of business flights between Russia and the oil-rich nation has continued to be normal signaling business as usual.
This is at a time when Moscow remains isolated from the world with most of the country disconnected from mainland Europe.
The interest among the well-off Russians in UAE has been so huge that a question asking if Russians can get UAE citizenship on a Russian-language magazine—the Russian Emirate — published in the UAE has got 83,000 views.
The website of the magazine has also seen its weekly readership double since the first batch of sanctions were imposed by the West, reported DW.