Hedge fund managers looking to escape Hong Kong’s Covid restrictions are being attracted to the United Arab Emirates.
Hedge funds have been setting up shop in Dubai and some finance professionals have relocated because of the attraction if its remote working programme.
In April, the UAE approved a remote work visa scheme enabling employees from all over the world to work from the UAE. The one-year visa allows foreigners to enter the UAE under self-sponsorship and work for their existing employer, irrespective of where they are headquartered.
The CEO of one fund in Hong Kong told eFinancialCareers: “There has been a lot of coverage of the so-called brain drain to Singapore. But the reality is somewhat different. The UAE is a much more attractive destination for westerners looking for a temporary relocation, and they’re really doing the hard sell.”
Some bankers are relocating to Singapore, but it is not the only destination, and it’s by no means a straightforward move. The Singapore government has responded to a potential influx of talent by imposing restrictions on firms looking to bring staff across from Hong Kong. Most positions have to be advertised to locals first, before an overseas employee can move across.
There is not yet any evidence of funds upping sticks permanently, with one hedge fund source describing it as “more of an extended vacation than a permanent move.”
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