Dubai Is the Newest Hedge Fund Hotspot

After attracting crypto firms, property investors and Russian billionaires, Dubai is drawing a new crowd: hedge fund managers.

Izzy Englander’s Millennium Management has grown its staff in the Dubai International Financial Centre to about 30 since securing a license in 2020. Michael Gelband's ExodusPoint Capital Management, one of the largest multi-strategy hedge funds in the world, registered in the DIFC in June, according to a filing.

All Blue Capital ditched its London headquarters to base itself in the city, where it now has almost half its global staff. Michael Platt’s private investment firm BlueCrest Capital Management is also expanding in the emirate, with former Citadel money manager Chris Wheeler among those hired.

They are part of a growing clutch of firms choosing to expand in the sun-splashed business hub. Brexit has spurred many funds to seek new bases outside the City of London, while some traders have fled Hong Kong’s strict Covid restrictions. And with living costs soaring around the world, Dubai’s tax-free welcome mat has seldom looked so appealing.

“We are in a unique situation where the classic financial centers are disintegrating,” said Tom Kirchmaier, professor at the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. “Living in Dubai -- that’s now come down to personal preferences with low taxes, good infrastructure and low regulation.”