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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Dubai has become a new home for many Russians. “We have a small Russian town here”

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Many wealthy Russians buy apartments and run businesses in Dubai, where they are not affected by sanctions. They talk about development, a second home and opportunities that do not exist in Russia. – In America, you will always be a stranger to the local elites. It's different here. Dubai has created a space not only for its residents, but for people from all over the world, says one Russian businessman.

They are surrounded by familiar sounds and tastes, even though they are several thousand kilometers from home. – We have a small Russian city here, or rather an international town with Russian culture – says Polina, a marketing expert at the Russian club in Dubai.

For many, crossing the threshold of one of the most popular Russian clubs in Dubai is like returning to their homeland. – People who come here want to remember their home. They are happy when they see Russian cuisine, music and atmosphere – informs Polina.

Two years ago, when Russia attacked Ukraine from three sides, thousands of Russians flocked to Dubai. New ones keep arriving. – People move to places where they can live better, where they can achieve more and see many opportunities in their lives, they can help their families – says Waleria, a translator who moved to Dubai two months ago.

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READ ALSO: Russian media banned from broadcasting in the European Union

For many Russians, it is an escape from the economic crisis and the Western world's closure to business with Moscow. – For me, home is where I can live. I have a house in Moscow, I have a house here, says Mikołaj, who works as a bartender in Dubai.

Russia forcibly sends those who refuse to fight to the front. “They are beaten and sent away by force”Justyna Zuber/Fakty o Świecie TVN24 BiS

This is how they get around Western sanctions

Dubai, the booming financial and business center of the Persian Gulf, has long attracted ultra-wealthy residents from around the world. The UAE's refusal to take sides between the West and Putin has signaled to Russians that their money is safe here.

– When you move to another country, you always feel like a stranger. In America, you will always be a stranger to the elites there. It's different here. Dubai has created a space not only for its residents, but for people from all over the world. I don't see an alternative for this city, says businessman Sergei.

SEE ALSO: A Russian billionaire tried to “unfreeze” his fortune

Unlike the United States and the European Union, the United Arab Emirates did not impose sanctions on Russia, which made it easier for its citizens to buy real estate and open company branches.

– International business in Russia does not operate because of sanctions. This is a very big problem and many entrepreneurs are moving away. Many of the people who live here are Russians with business interests in Russia and here. This is a very good option when you have two markets, points out Sergey, an entrepreneur in the engineering and science sector.

Since Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the wallets of the richest Russians may have decreased somewhat. Last year, holders of Russian passports dropped to 3rd place in the rankings of the largest real estate buyers in Dubai. In 2022, they were in first place, ahead of Indian and British nationals.

Facts about the World TVN24 BiS

Main photo source: Reuters

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