Dubai Surpasses Lisbon as a Top Destination for Digital Nomads

Dubai Surpasses Lisbon as a Top Destination for Digital Nomads

Dubai overtakes Lisbon as the preferred choice for digital nomads according to a new study by Savills. The real estate firm evaluated 20 premium housing markets based on their attractiveness to remote workers. Amid the surge of corporate professionals transitioning to digital nomadism post-pandemic, Dubai stood out as the most welcoming destination.

The Rise of Hybrid Model

Since the pandemic, the adoption of hybrid work models led numerous remote workers to seek alternative global bases. They often favored warm coastal cities with easy airport access. New research revealed that employees now only spend an average of 1.75 days per week in the office. This was concluded in a study conducted by AWA Consultancy across 22 countries. Consequently,  37% of the employers were planning to downsize their office spaces.

Dubai Ranked No. 1 Destination for Digital Nomads 

In-demand locations for digital nomads are experiencing escalating rental costs. This has caused the affordability of premium rental accommodations to play a pivotal role in relocation decisions. Likewise, a major influencer while relocating is associated with the rental prices in digital nomad hotspots. Lisbon dropped to the fifth place down from the number one due to soaring rents. Dubai has now become the top destination for digital entrepreneurs followed by Malaga in Spain.  

Dubai Preferred Destination of Choice for 40% Startups & Scaleups  

Within the MENA region, Dubai is also the preferred destination of choice for over 40% of the startups and scaleups. In the first of 2023, the Dubai’s Chamber of Digital Economy attracted 69 technology companies to Dubai. The government is keen to push the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) with the motive of making the emirate an attractive destination for digital nomads, startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This has paved the way for entrepreneurial culture in Dubai and spurred a remarkable economic growth. Dubai has left no stone unturned as its GDP grew by 2.8% crossing AED 111.3 billion ($30 billion) in the first quarter of 2023. Dubai GDP comfortably outpaced the GDP growth of the USA (1.1%) and EU (1.8%) economies. On similar lines, the UAE’s Digital Economy is expected to grow more than AED 514 billion ($140 billion) by 2031


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Author: Waqas Siddiqui
As a research consultant, I am passionate about supporting businesses in successfully expanding in the UAE and Gulf region. I can be reached at waqas@researchkonnection.com for research inquiries.