UAE safe haven for global wealthy families, says Marc Sola

Marc Sola, CEO, 1291 Group.
Marc Sola, CEO, 1291 Group.
by

Sandhya D'Mello

Published: Sat 10 Sep 2022, 7:28 PM

Last updated: Sat 10 Sep 2022, 8:02 PM

Wealthy families around the globe are currently planning migration looking for personal safety, political stability, modern infrastructure with first-class medical facilities and a tax-friendly environment. And yes, the UAE proves to be a fantastic place that tics all the important boxes.



"Moving family, business and wealth is often a lengthy process and therefore many families start by bringing their family office to a favourable jurisdiction," said Marc Sola, CEO, 1291 Group.

Sola been advising clients from all over Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. He is a sought-after speaker at international investment, asset protection, and estate planning conferences worldwide.

Zurich-based 1291 Group — a Swiss private wealth solutions with a worldwide presence — recently opened its regional office in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

From a regulatory point of view the UAE has taken a big step and implemented anti money laundering regulations and strict supervision on financial services companies that are fully in line with international standards.

"I personally experienced this when applying for our license in the DIFC. We are licensed in 35 countries but no other authority worked so diligently. This is very important for creating a strong and stable financial sector and to earn trust and respect in an international context," said Sola.

DIFC recently announced the launch of the first Global Family Business and Private Wealth Centre (Centre) in the region and worldwide. DIFC is the first financial centre in the world to create a unique offering at a time when an estimated Dh3.67 trillion ($1 trillion) in assets will be transferred to the next generation in the Middle East during the next decade.

The initiative aligns with the UAE Government’s commitment to support family businesses, which continue to play a prominent role in accelerating the growth of the country’s economy. It is estimated that only 20 per cent of family businesses are managed by the third generation in the Middle East. It is crucial to educate those who face challenges related to governance, succession, ownership, wealth, family dynamics and strategy to ensure a solid family business and long-term success.

The initiative is in line with DIFC’s 2030 Strategy objectives, which will enable DIFC to double in size and its economic contribution to Dubai’s GDP. The strategy also supports sustained economic growth and further differentiates Dubai as a global hub for leading financial institutions and businesses.

The centre will bring together global family-owned businesses, ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) and Private Wealth in one hub to help preserve and grow the sector and provide access to a full range of support services to enable robust legacy and succession planning. The centre is also expected to attract family businesses and UHNWIs from the region and globally to establish a presence in Dubai.

“We are here to support wealthy families and their advisers. Most of these families live and operate in an international environment. The typical topics like privacy and asset protection, International tax optimisation and estate planning are key concerns,” said Sola.

“Currently we are seeing lots of interest from Asia (China, Taiwan, India) but also Eastern Europe and Latin America (Mexico, Brasil).”

Sola points out that the UAE is proving to be a fantastic place for moving family and wealth. “The nation is admired for excellent policies, infrastructure and education. The new golden visa programme provides families with long-term stability,” concluded Sola.

— sandhya@khaleejtimes.com


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