Henley & Partners Hosts Experts to Discuss the Importance of Global Mobility

Wednesday 25 October 2017
Dubai - MENA Herald:

Henley & Partners, the leading international residence and citizenship advisory firm, hosted a range of experts to discuss the importance of global mobility and its role in the sustainable development of the world economy.

Henley & Partners hosted the Expert Panel as part of its Global Citizenship Seminar held today at the Palace Hotel in Downtown Dubai. The panel focused the conversation around the increasing threats to global mobility and its imperative role in all aspects affecting people, businesses, communities and economies collectively.

Marco Gantenbein, Director at Henley & Partners Middle East, said: “As the pioneer of the residence and citizenship industry, Henley & Partners has advocated for global mobility for over two decades now, and is continuously raising awareness of its fundamental role in supporting economic sustainability. As we look towards 2018, there

are many projected and unforeseen threats to our global mobility.

At Henley & Partners, we want our clients and stakeholders to be fully aware of the deeper impact of global mobility at multiple levels, and what better place than Dubai to bring this to light. Sitting on the crossroads of trade and mobility, Dubai is indeed the best example of how an open economy can thrive and at the same time positively benefit people.”

In order to highlight the importance of mobility, Henley & Partners brought together a group of eminent, independent experts from different fields of specialization, to discuss the recent world events and how it was restricting global mobility, and as a result, affecting different layers of economic sustainability including innovation, creativity, talent acquisition and financial dynamism.

The session saw an active exchange of unique insights and viewpoints, providing the audience with a holistic view of mobility and how it is extremely important to the collective future of individuals and societies.

Key points made by the panelists while talking about mobility’s impact from an economic, social and cultural perspective:

Samir Sweida-Metwally, Senior Analyst at Emerging Markets Intelligence and Research, said: “While global mobility and free movement of labour more broadly, have enriched nations overall, they have had a rather unequal impact across society. Traditionally, in developed economies, the more skilled and higher educated groups have disproportionally benefited from free movement of labour, while the mid to low-level income segments have shouldered more of the negative externalities. This, in part, has help fuel a distorted narrative that encouraged the growth of populist movements across Europe as a way of expressing dissatisfaction with the status quo. Therefore, I believe a number of policy reforms are needed before communities are further embroiled in a state of ambiguity, which if persists, may have a lasting adverse effect on economic growth and societal development. It is important that these reforms are enacted at local, national, and supranational level to support those marginalized and bring them back into the mainframe.” 

Alaa Odeh, Senior Associate at Globesight, commented: “One key factor that has become apparent from the current global landscape is that mobility and migration is a major human development issue that goes hand in hand with globalization of innovation, technology and youth engagement. Mobility is also important from the view of driving sustainable development goals. People from emerging economies bring their innovative ideas that address social challenges in their countries to more developed economies. They further develop these ideas, as well as build upon existing innovations and technologies in their new home. This is especially true with the youth who will be tomorrow's leaders.  They are already interconnected through technologies and social media.  They come with an understanding of the culture and build upon that for more innovative and sustainable economies that cut across several societies."

Nasif Kayed, CEO and Founder of Arab Culturalist, and one among the panelists at the session, stated:  “As someone who has travelled and spent a good amount of time abroad, I can confidently state that there is no economy in the world that embraces the model of mobility and excellence as uniquely as the UAE. The UAE has always been an open economy allowing the flow of people from all levels of society from all over the world, as it is evident with expats constituting over 85% of UAE’s population. Dubai is multifaceted and has become a home and the place that provides its residents with security and opportunity to enhance the quality of their lives and livelihoods, while maintaining its heritage and cultural values. The Emirate’s globalized approach of providing people the best of both worlds has distinctly set it apart from the other countries in the region and abroad. So speaking of mobility, it is definitely one of the elements that enable Dubai’s vision of being a world-leading economy and the catalyst to its sustainable growth. ”

Nasif added: “Culture is everything and everything is culture. Preparing a person for mobility should involve acclimating him/her with the culture of another country and this should be the focal point if we as a global citizen want to truly embrace the mobility model.” 

Samer K. Taher, Managing Director of Meirc Training and Consulting, and one of the panelists, provided his personal view on global mobility:  “As an MD and entrepreneur, my role requires frequent travel, mostly on very short notice. However, having been a Syrian National, I experienced the impact of restricted mobility first-hand. One of the many disadvantages involved the long lead time for processing my visa application whenever I had to travel. This inconvenience negatively affected my business and my personal life, and prompted me to invest in securing a European citizenship which provided me with a level of security and mobility that I desperately yearned for.”

Commenting on how he sees mobility-related issues to be resolved in the future, Samer added: “I sincerely hope authorities and governments stop giving undue consideration to factors related to ‘country of birth’, and treat us as global citizens by taking into account our contributions and the value we bring in as international professionals.”

Investing in an alternative residence or citizenship is now emerging as a key trend and mostly importantly, it is considered as an investment and portfolio diversification strategy for individuals throughout the world. Having an alternative residence or citizenship not only enhances these individuals’ access to the global markets but also enables them to take advantage of the opportunities and in turn contribute to the wider global growth and economic development.

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