Cayman courts Dubai investors with a new investment office

Located in United Arab Emirates

Cayman is opening an office in Dubai to attract Middle Eastern investors.

Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush said a new office would be opened by mid-December in Dubai.

‘As a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Dubai, also part of the United Arab Emirates, presents tremendous investment potential for our islands,’ Mr. Bush said.

John Papesh, currently managing director of American hedge fund and financial advisory company, Pharos Financial Group, will head the Dubai office.

This is the second attempt to open a Cayman Islands Investment Bureau Office in the United Arab Emirates. Plans to launch an office during the United Democratic Party’s previous term in government were scrapped when the Progressive Party Movement took power in 2005.

Mr. Bush said plans were afoot to reopen offices in Hong Kong and London, and that the government was also looking at establishing investment offices in the Chinese capital of Beijing and in Japan.

Mr. Bush said it would cost between US$9,000 and $11,000 a month in rent for the Dubai office and that staff would be paid on a commission basis only. He said the investment bureau staff would share offices with others in Dubai to help save costs.

Mr. Bush said Gulf Co-operation Council countries, which include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – had experienced an economic boon due to high global oil prices.

He cited a recent McKinsey Global Institute study, which found that GCC countries would earn US$3.7 trillion in oil exports up to 2020, even if they priced their oil at US$50 per barrel.

Mr. Bush said that with surpluses in hand, the GCC countries had embarked on investment and development plans which differ from those of previous oil booms in the 1970s and 1980s.

‘We are now witnessing a shift from the public to the private sector as the main engine of growth, as well as a reduced dependency on petroleum and natural gas,’ Mr. Bush said.

‘Gulf Cooperation Council governments are increasing foreign investment in areas such as infrastructure, tourism, manufacturing, energy, agriculture and real estate. This government would be negligent if we failed to place Cayman in a position to benefit from these investment trends.’

He welcomed Mr. Papesh’s appointment, saying: ”I am delighted to welcome him to our team and look forward to him negotiating major investment opportunities on our behalf.’

Mr. Papesh worked as a strategic marketing consultant for international real estate developers and investment trusts, including the Ritz Carlton, and Kerzner and Capella Hotels and Resorts. He also spent 10 years with Dart Management and Dart Realty (Cayman), his final position being vice-president of marketing and public affairs.

He ran the charitable arm of the Dart Foundation in the Cayman Islands.

Mr. Bush said Mr. Papesh had strong and established relationships in the United Arab Emirates, where he resides, with numerous institutional investors, government and royal dignitaries, and high net worth investors.

‘Gulf Cooperation Council governments are increasing foreign investment in areas such as infrastructure, tourism, manufacturing, energy, agriculture and real estate. This government would be negligent if we failed to place Cayman in a position to benefit from these investment trends.’

McKeeva Bush, Leader of Government Business

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