The rising phenomenon of economic citizenship in a growing number of countries that offer individuals passports in return for investment, had allowed the global rich in 2014 to spend an estimated $2 billion acquiring second nationalities.  The Caribbean islands turned within the last 10 years to the global capital of “citizenship-by-investment” programmes, but it’s not just them that are on this business of as it were retailing passports.  Cyprus, for example, for a minimum real estate investment of €2.5 million now offers citizenship.  Further, Malta as described below in this article of the EMIRATES 24/7 of 21 April  2016 means also to enter and do good in the same business.  Expat Alert: How UAE residents can become European citizens.

The number of the ultra-wealthy individuals seeking a second citizenship is on the rise, and is expected to increase at an even faster rate over the next 10 years.

According to several reports, nearly 60 per cent of applicants for second citizenship or second residence programmes come from the Middle East.

On the other hand, Europe is the most popular region in terms of second residence and citizenship applications, accounting for more than half (56 per cent) of the total number of applications.

According to residency and citizenship planning firm Henley & Partners, Malta’s Individual Investor Programme (IIP) is the best citizenship-by-investment programme in the world.

While the programme was stalled indefinitely in 2014 due to fierce opposition, it was restarted last year, when the country received 578 applications for the programme between January and December 2015.

Of these, 147 were approved, and 54 have already been granted Maltese citizenship.

High-net-worth individuals in the UAE and the GCC can take advantage of the Malta Citizenship by Investment – Individual Investor Programme (IIP) and enjoy the many benefits that come along with it.

The Maltese Individual Investor Programme allows foreign individuals and their families who contribute to the economic development of Malta to be granted citizenship through a certificate of naturalisation.

The Maltese programme is one of the newest citizenship by investment programmes and provides a host of benefits.

These include European Union citizenship of an English speaking country, visa-free travel to over 160 countries including the United States and the European Union and the right to live, study and work in the European Union and Switzerland.

Read more in the EMIRATES 24/7 article.