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Barbados beyond Its Beaches

17 February, 2022 – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Caribbean nation of Barbados is open and ready for business as it seeks to strengthen ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Having deftly managed the pandemic since March 2020, Barbados has secured the confidence of global financial institutions in the resilience of the economy which is anchored on tourism and international business and is fortifying its partnership with the UAE.

As with the UAE, a globally recognised innovation hub, Barbados too seeks to be a world leader and has registered many firsts including the digitization of its currency, creation of a regulatory Sandbox for financial services, the introduction of a 12-month Welcome Stamp Visa for digital nomads and their families, and most recently, the announcement of its intent to establish the world’s first digital embassy within the metaverse.

As articulated by the island’s Ambassador to the UAE, His Excellency Gabriel Abed during an investment awareness webinar hosted by Invest Barbados in cooperation with Dubai Industries and Exports, Barbados offers  “world-class financial platforms and services in several new areas including pharmaceuticals, e-health, e-education, the management of life sciences, culinary sciences, robotics (which we have introduced in our schools), retirement villages, data and cloud engineering, FinTech, cyber security and an increased menu of exports”.

To cement its commitment to deepening relations with the UAE, the island nation is creating a buzz during Expo 2020 Dubai, through its theme of ‘Innovation and Transformation: From Sugar Cane to Blockchain’.

That evolution aptly captured the Barbados business story. From its agricultural roots to that of innovation and several ‘world firsts’, the island today offers the savvy investor from the UAE, several investment opportunities for consideration.

As recently outlined by Barbados’ recently re-elected Prime Minister, the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, a key project set to begin shortly is a 237-room waterfront Hyatt Centric Hotel in the capital city of Bridgetown. It will be situated on one of the island’s most picturesque beaches.

Just a few metres away from the Hyatt Hotel in the UNESCO World Heritage site, is to be an exciting multi-million-dollar tourism, real estate, retail and marina complex called the Pierhead Project. That mega project is expected to incorporate and accentuate the historic features of the city.

With Barbados leading the Caribbean in the thrust toward greater use of renewables and attaining the goal of carbon neutrality by 2030, the island is also set to construct a green energy park and is encouraging foreign and local investors to get involved in its renewable energy sector.

A confident Prime Minister Mottley stated: “I am not worried about the economic revival as we go into 2022. . . we have worked hard to bring back tourism. Almost 90 per cent of the airlift that we had in December 2019, has returned in December 2021, and we will continue to work with the partners to make tourism thrive despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19 because the world over we are learning to live with it.”

For UAE investors, the Caribbean country is certainly not out of reach, and is accessible from all the major hubs including London, New York, Miami and Toronto.

Ranked among the hemisphere’s top tier on the United Nations Human Development Index, Barbados boasts a highly educated workforce.

Its global business sector is well regulated and features a cadre of experienced legal, accounting, management, insurance, compliance and support professionals to assist in establishing and maintaining global corporate operations there.

The country’s hybrid public-private sector healthcare system is well regarded and attracts graduates of the Barbados-campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI) medical school. UWI is ranked by the Times Higher Education ranking system among the top 1.5 % of universities from a field of over 30, 000 institutions around the world.

Barbados is also home to several foreign medical schools including Ross University of the United States.

One of the Caribbean’s most desirable vacation destinations, Barbados is an important business hub and an ideal transit point to the Eastern Caribbean, North America and Europe with direct connections to the world’s leading metropolitan centres.

Adding to the island’s many strong suits for global business and travel, is the presence of a network of embassies and diplomatic bases there including the Delegation of the European Union, the United States of Embassy, Canadian High Commission, Australian Consulate, Japanese and Chinese Embassy. These missions also service most Eastern Caribbean jurisdictions.

If there needed to be any more incentives to choose Barbados, the country maintains a desirable ranking on Transparency International’s Global Corruption Perception Index. This, along with its passport, ranked as the most powerful in the Caribbean and 24th in the world, are pull factors for high net-worth individuals.

Under Barbados’ Special Entry and Reside Permit regime,  people with a minimum net worth of US$5 million and own residential property or investment in Barbados valued at over US$2 million purchased with funds outside the island and not under local mortgage, can seek the special permit to reside in the island indefinitely as a retiree, an employed person, or as an entrepreneur. 

Beyond its beautiful shores, Barbados therefore has much to offer the discerning investor – and the team at Invest Barbados, the island’s national investment promotion agency, is available to be your guides (www.investbarbados.org).

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