Dubai attracts flurry of senior remote workers

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For the wave of executives turning into digital nomads since the pandemic, there’s nowhere more accommodating than Dubai.

That’s according to research by real estate broker Savills Plc, which ranked 20 prime residential markets by their appeal to long-term remote workers. Dubai’s fast-growing fintech and financial services sectors are attracting a flurry of senior hybrid workers, many of which have been impacted by the 200,000-plus tech industry job cuts seen this year.

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“Many have been impacted by layoffs across global tech firms,” said Swapnil Pillai, a Middle East researcher at Savills. “They are exploring the city as a base to support these thriving sectors.”

Hybrid era

The shift to hybrid working since the pandemic prompted many executives to find a new base elsewhere in the world, often in warm coastal cities with easily accessible airports.

Workers are still only going to the office an average of 1.75 days a week, according to a separate study of 22 countries by consultancy AWA, which found 37 percent of employers are planning to reduce their office space as a result.

Meanwhile, as rental prices rise in digital nomad hotspots, the affordability of prime rental properties has become a crucial factor when deciding where to move next. Lisbon, which topped last year’s rankings, has dropped to no. 5 as rents soared in the city.

Malaga, a new entry into the rankings that saw Google move in this year, came in second only to Dubai.

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