Dirty money from Russia and Europe flooding Dubai real estate, researchers say

Oligarchs, mobsters and embezzlers are among owners of billions’ worth of real estate in the glittery city-state, as Borzou Daragahi discovers

Wednesday 04 May 2022 19:41 BST
The Dubai skyline
The Dubai skyline (Getty)

One is a Russian businessman associated with Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov, who serves as Vladimir Putin’s attack dog. Another is the alleged leader of an Irish organised crime group involved in cocaine trafficking. Yet another is a Czech national under United States treasury department sanctions for running a cryptocurrency exchange that became a hub of blackmail.

What they have in common, along with hundreds of others revealed in a recently published data leak and investigative research project, is that they own property in Dubai, which has emerged as a major hub for dirty money.

Though an entity of only 3.5 million people, Dubai, one of seven princedoms that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), accounts for up to 3 per cent of global offshore real estate, according to the research.

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