UAE a 'haven for Russian oligarchs' that should be blacklisted: critics

UAE a 'haven for Russian oligarchs' that should be blacklisted: critics
2 min read
12 June, 2022
The United Arab Emirates has been accused of being a haven for Russian oligarchs trying to get around international sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Multiple luxury vehicles belonging to Russian oligarchs, including super yachts and private aircrafts, have been spotted in the Emirates [Getty]

Politicians and critics of Putin's government have accused the UAE of allowing Russian oligarchs to circumvent international sanctions, calling for the country to be blacklisted, according to The Observer

Private jets and yachts linked to Russian oligarchs reportedly headed to the Gulf state once the international community sanctioned them for their role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Last month, a group of Members of European Parliament wrote to the European commissioner for finance to blacklist the UAE  for failing to sanction the Russian oligarchs, and accused the Gulf State of  facilitating 'money laundering at a grand scale.'

It recently emerged that the private jet of former Chelsea Football Club owner, Roman Abramovich has been in Dubai for the past three months. Considered one of the world’s most expensive private aircraft, its last recorded flight was from Moscow to Dubai on 4 March - days after Russia launched its invasion. 

Meanwhile, a £240 million superyacht that had disappeared from tracking systems, linked to Russian Andrey Melnichenko, was seen in Ras al-Khaimah, according to the Financial Times

“Dubai has long been a safe place for dirty money,” said Bill Browder, a former banker and prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as quoted in the Observer. “It should now be put on financial blacklists and its leaders shouldn’t be welcome here.”

The UAE has always been a popular destination for Russian tourists, but it seems to have become a haven for Russians connected to Putin to circumvent sanctions. In addition to the planes and yachts, there has been a rise in the number of Russians purchasing properties in the country.

Earlier this year, a report by Betterhomes concluded that property purchases in Dubai have surged by 67 percent in the first quarter of 2022.