The Emirates Center for Studies and Media said that all-Russian neighbourhoods are appearing in the UAE to escape the international sanctions imposed on Moscow since its invasion of Ukrainian territory last February.
The centre pointed out the focus of the international press on the fact that Russian companies and billionaires are fleeing their country and Europe to the UAE to avoid international sanctions due to the Russian war on Ukraine.
Business leaders involved in real estate and commercial operations said Dubai appears to be the new haven for billionaires and businessmen escaping Russia.
The UAE has not imposed sanctions on Russia, nor has it criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russians who are not mentioned in the sanctions are also granted visas in the UAE, while many Western countries have imposed restrictions.
British and American reports said that Russian oligarchs are fleeing to Dubai to avoid the impact of Western sanctions over Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
The Emirates Center for Studies and Media (EMASC) published a report last March showing the influx of oligarchs into the Emirates.
A number of Russian oligarchs have already moored their yachts at Dubai marinas to avoid Western sanctions. The Financial Times reported that the oligarchs are seeking to exchange their apartments in London for real estate in Dubai to avoid the scrutiny of Western regulators who seek to punish the Kremlin and its backers for the attack on Ukraine.
A report in the Mirror newspaper said that the billionaires and businessmen who took this step are beginning to take root, as purchases of real estate in Dubai by Russians rose by 67% in the first three months of 2022. The UAE did not impose sanctions on Russia, nor did it criticize the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to new 46-page research by The Independent, more than 20 reporters from Western and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltic states and the Balkans searched the names of real estate owners. It was found that more than 100 political and media figures and Russian oligarchs are close to The Kremlin owning real estate in Dubai and the UAE.
There are also dozens of Europeans accused of money laundering, embezzlement and corruption, and many fugitives from the law.
This indicates that Europeans are increasingly scrutinizing “money laundering” in the UAE, and economists fear this will lead to sanctions on the UAE financial system and economy.
Business leaders told the BBC that hundreds of thousands of people had left Russia in the past two months, although exact figures are not available.