Thursday 22, September 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Antigua and Barbuda is expecting to see a significant boost in investment and travel from the Middle East. An exclusive exposition style conference is set to take place in October 2016 at Dubai’s Palazzo Versace Hotel highlighting the islands’ exceptional investor and citizenship benefits.
Antigua and Barbuda’s low-tax structure, offering investment free from personal income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and wealth tax, has played an important role in encouraging foreign funds into the islands. The country has already seen a significant increase of investment from the Middle East, including a recent MOU for US$120 million towards a luxury resort in the south of the island. Spread across 32 acres of beachfront, the new resort, Callaloo Cay, will enthrall the best of class, beauty, and extravagance, and is expected to be a one-of-a-kind resort in the Caribbean.
Antigua and Barbuda has witnessed an increase of high net worth investors from around the world since the establishment of the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) introduced in 2013. The nation’s CIP has been ranked as the number one program in the Caribbean and fourth in the world, by two major international industry players, Henley & Partners and Arton Capital. Citizenship permits visa-free travel to more than 130 countries including Singapore, Hong Kong, the UK, Schengen States and Canada. The passport is ranked as the 25th most powerful passport in the world.
John Hanafin, CEO of the global citizenship advisory Arton Capital, said that “the program for the twin-island has become popular thanks to the level of trust built due to the continued bilateral economic developments and favourable investment climate.”
The sun soaked twin islands have long attracted celebrities such as Robert De Niro, Gorgio Armani, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey and investors like James Packer. As the largest English speaking country of the Leeward Islands, it has become a popular destination for wealthy tourists, hailing from the US, Canada, Asia and, more recently, the Middle East, with tourism generating approximately 80% of the Islands’ income.
Next month, Callaloo Cay will play the role of Platinum sponsor at the expo-style conference promoting Antigua and Barbuda as the ultimate destination of choice for both investment and tourism. The invite-only event will highlight salient aspects of the islands and will be attended by a high profile travel delegation from the twin islands including Prime Minister – Hon. Gaston Browne, Ambassador to the UAE, His Excellency Casroy James, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Charles Fernandez, and Special Economic Envoy and Hollywood Icon – Robert Deniro.
Speaking on the event, Ambassador Casroy James states, “The potential benefits to Antigua and Barbuda stemming from this event are numerous. Investment and collaborative growth opportunities are already expanding simply based on anticipation of this event. The interest being shown by Emiratis and stakeholders alike is encouraging and speaks to a long term future between the two countries.”
This coincides with yet another milestone as Antigua and Barbuda gets set to become the first of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to open an embassy in UAE.