Following my first trip to Dubai in May, I wrote “… I haven’t been this excited about the dynamism and upside potential of any place since 2015, when I was awe struck by Tel Aviv.” I wrote that I had already planned my 2nd trip to Dubai, for the Future Blockchain Summit in October. I just finished that 2nd trip, and I continue to be highly impressed.
So I’m “moving” to Dubai for two weeks in January to spend more time with the community and deepen relationships. I rarely employ “click bait” titles, but I made an exception because, while the U.S. is crippling the crypto industry, Dubai is welcoming us with open arms. And crypto peeps should check it out. It’s exhilarating. Here are eight reasons why:
#1 — Dubai Is Attracting The Best & The Brightest
Dubai has a population of 3.6 million, almost 90% of which are expats (~40,000 Americans). Getting a work VISA is quick and easy, including the coveted Golden VISA, which provides a 10-year window. Dubai is highly westernized. But what stands out most, is how impressive the people are.
In May, CryptoMondays Dubai was the 31st chapter I visited. Thanks to our host, Gaurav Dubey, CEO of TDMM, it was a great evening featuring many thought leaders in the Dubai crypto ecosystem (per a this short video) . In my blog post about that trip, I noted that CryptoMondays Dubai was the 2nd most impressive group of web3 people at any CryptoMondays I’d attended, after CryptoMondays Palo Alto. They were smart, fun, and deeply engaged with the crypto community. CryptoMondays Dubai on this trip was even better:
#2 — The UAE Does Not Levy Income Tax On Individuals
If I do move to Dubai, I’ll still owe U.S. income taxes, unless I renounce my U.S. citizenship. But it’s nice to know that option is available. Undoubtedly, Dubai’s zero income tax rate is an important factor in Dubai attracting the talent they’re attracting from all over the world.
#3 — The Dubai Crypto Community Is Extraordinary
First, the crypto community in Dubai is incredibly international. And because of all the expats in Dubai, a culture of support permeates the community. So many people offered to help me with introductions, with places to stay, with access to their drivers if needed, or to just come by for dinner or drinks.
Most ex-pats have been in Dubai less than two years. So everyone’s on an adventure. And there’s a real sense of being on the adventure together. Collaboration is the key to success in Dubai.
#4 — The Dubai Government Is HIGHLY Supportive of The Crypto Ecosystem
With the release of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy in 2016, Dubai established a roadmap for blockchain technology, including an open platform to share the technology with cities across the globe.
Notably, the government hosts GITEX (Oct. 16–20, 2023), the largest tech conference in the world. Concurrently, the government also hosts the Future Blockchain Summit, the largest web3 conference in the Middle East.
In addition, the government’s Blockchain Center provides free office space and other amenities for people working in web3.
And the UAE is more than just Dubai. There are six other emirates, including Abu Dhabi, which has also established itself as an attractive place to headquarter a company in the UAE. And on my recent visit, I had the pleasure of attending an iumpressive full day conference in RAK, another emirate providing incentives for companies to domicile there.
#5 — All The Worlds Excess Capital Is In The Middle East, And Dubai Is The Gateway
At CryptoMondays Davos in January, I held a fireside chat with Ken Moelis, Founder of Moelis & Co. IMHO, Ken’s the pre-eminent banker in the world. It was Ken’s 8th World Economic Forum (“WEF”), and when I asked him what was different at this WEF then the others, he replied “Oh, that’s easy, this is my 1st WEF when all the worlds excess capital is in the Middle East”. And with Saudi Arabia opening up, the Middle East is poised to play an increasingly pivotal role in financing innovation.
After years of developing its infrastructure, and attracting many of the best and brightest, Dubai is poised to be a gateway for accessing capital across the Middle East.
#6 — Dubai Has Ambitious Growth Plan For 2040
Dubai has experienced explosive growth for 60+ years. From 1960-2020, Dubai’s population grew 80X, from 40,000 in 1960, to 3.3 million. During that time, the urban area of Dubai increased 170-fold.
Dubai’s 2040 Urban Master Plan projects the population will grow to 5.8 million, 60% above he 3.6M that live in Dubai today. That 3% annualized growth rate is among the fastest anticipated growth rates of any country in the world. That growth is part of what’s driving the opportunity to build wealth in Dubai.
Dubai also has a booming travel industry, with more than 14 million international visitors in — 2022, providing the emirate a great opportunity to showcase itself. There are amazing hotels, great food, and tons to do.
#7 — Dubai Is Really Really Fun
To me, Dubai is a cross between Miami and Las Vegas. There’s always a party somewhere. There’s always something fun to do.
The best thing about crypto is the community. And in Dubai, you can hang with the community almost any night of the week. And similar to Miami, if you go to enough events, you’ll spend time on a yacht.
#8 — The U.S. Is In Secular Decline
As most in crypto know, economically, the U.S.’s best days are behind us. Per this Ray Dalio chart showing 500 years of the rise and fall of the great empires, the U.S.’s dominance peaked ~60 years ago:
It’s not the decline highlighted above that is most worrisome about the U.S. to me, it’s our refusal to admit it. It’s our inability to even begin to address the deep systemic problems with our institutions (e.g. healthcare, judicial, education, fiscal, …) that are seemingly broken beyond repair. My children will be the first U.S. generation to be economically worse off, on average, than their parents. That’s literally the death of the American dream.
Today, the U.S. is in the unique position of being able to address a lot of our fiscal problems by printing money. But our ability to fund our profligate spending via a money printer has a half life. So a Plan B is a good iea.
Dubai Does Have Challenges.
First, it gets really hot:
Lots of people leave Dubai from May-September. But so many people live there now, that for those that stay, there’s still lots to do.
Traffic is a big and growing problem in Dubai. While public transit is really good, it too is very crowded.
The air quality in Dubai is often unhealthy, particularly during the summer months. The government is working to improve the air quality via regulations, the development of green spaces, investment in renewable energy sources, and promoting the use of public transportation.
Though the UAE created an easier path to citizenship for some in 2021, citizenship is still not an option for most.
I wasn’t the first person to think Israel was an awesome start up ecosystem, but I was still early. And I’m not the first person to see the massive opportunity in Dubai. But I’m doubling down on Dubai because I still think it’s super early in terms of their emergence as a major crypto ecosystem, buoyed by an accommodating regulatory environment, a region flush with investment capital, a thirst for innovation, and many of the brightest and nicest people I’ve met in crypto. I can’t wait to “move” there in January. See you at CryptoMondays Dubai on January 29,2024!
If you appreciated this post please “Clap” below so others will see the post.
This article has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy tokens or other securities of CryptoOracle Collective (the “Company”). This presentation does not constitute investment advice or counsel or solicitation for investment in any security.