Top 20 destinations for digital nomads - Flatio
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Top 20 global destinations for digital nomads (Dubai, Málaga, Miami, and more)

4. june 2024 · 6 minute

The latest Savills Executive Nomad Index evaluated and ranked 20 destinations for long-term remote workers based on appeal and accessibility. They considered factors like connectivity, climate, rental market, and quality of life.

While beaches are a factor, it's the culture and networking opportunities in urban areas that attract remote executives.

Executive nomads are a diverse group, but they share a common trait: they have reevaluated their priorities since the pandemic and have found that accessible locations offering a pleasant climate, high quality of life, and fast Wi-Fi are the answer. Connectivity, both physical and digital, is crucial.

The availability and affordability of prime rental properties are also important factors. The popularity of these destinations is evident in rising rental costs; for example, prime residential rents in Dubai grew by 5.4% in the first half of 2023, while in Lisbon, they rose by 13.9% over the same period.

Digital nomad visa also plays a role in facilitating this lifestyle. Since Estonia launched its digital nomad visa in 2020, many countries have followed suit to attract global talent.

Spain's launch of its digital nomad visa in 2022 has propelled Málaga into second place in this year's index. Málaga offers an attractive climate, beaches, culture, gastronomy, and comparatively affordable rental prices. Its international airport is conveniently located near the city center, making it ideal for executive nomads who rely on regular travel. Additionally, a direct flight from New York to Málaga was launched this year.

Find perfect apartments for rent in Malaga

Dubai claims the top spot, driven by its ambition to become a leading digital economy. With exceptional digital and physical connectivity, including its Dubai airport hub, it also scores highly for quality of life.

Interestingly, no Asian locations are included in the index, as remote working holds relatively less appeal in the region's office culture. Miami is the only US city to make the list, partly due to its proximity to the Caribbean, making it part of a wider network of nomad hubs, including the Cayman Islands, which is a newcomer to the index in 2023 and particularly appeals to North Americans.

Established leisure destinations like the Algarve and Tuscany also make the cut. For a certain niche of nomad, freedom is found in turning their holiday villa into a year-round home. In places like Málaga or Palma, some find the perfect combination of a holiday destination with a lively year-round city atmosphere, along with palm trees and beaches.

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The final list of top 20 destinations for executive nomads

Top 20 destinations for executive nomads

Here are the top 20 destinations named by the Savills Executive Nomad Index as the best places for executive nomads to base themselves for an extended period of time.

  1. Dubai: A bustling metropolis known for its business-friendly environment, luxurious lifestyle, and state-of-the-art infrastructure, making it ideal for executive nomads seeking a dynamic work-life balance.
  2. Málaga: With its pleasant climate, rich cultural heritage, and large expat community, Málaga offers executive nomads a blend of work opportunities and a relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle.
  3. Miami: A global hub for finance, technology, and entertainment, Miami's cosmopolitan atmosphere, diverse talent pool, and sunny weather make it an attractive destination for executive nomads.
  4. Abu Dhabi: With a stable economy, world-class amenities, and a strategic location in the Middle East, Abu Dhabi provides executive nomads with ample business prospects and a high quality of life.
  5. Lisbon: Known for its affordable cost of living, unique neighborhoods, and thriving startup scene, Lisbon appeals to executive nomads seeking a lively European base with a laid-back vibe.
  6. Barbados: With its stunning beaches, favorable tax incentives, and English-speaking population, Barbados offers executive nomads a tranquil setting for remote work and relaxation.
  7. Barcelona: Renowned for its artistic flair, culinary delights, and entrepreneurial spirit, Barcelona attracts executive nomads with its dynamic startup ecosystem and Mediterranean lifestyle.
  8. Palma: Located in the Balearic Islands, Palma combines a beautiful setting, modern amenities, and a welcoming expat community, making it an appealing destination for executive nomads.
  9. Algarve: Portugal's southernmost region, the Algarve, is characterized by pristine beaches, affordable living costs, and a laid-back atmosphere, providing executive nomads with a tranquil retreat for remote work.
  10. Saint Lucia: With its natural landscapes, favorable tax policies, and emerging business opportunities, Saint Lucia offers executive nomads a serene Caribbean escape coupled with economic incentives.
  11. Cayman Islands: A global financial center renowned for its tax benefits, political stability, and luxurious lifestyle, the Cayman Islands appeal to executive nomads seeking a sophisticated yet relaxed environment.
  12. Dubrovnik: Dubrovnik's historic charm, Adriatic coastline, and growing digital nomad community make it an enticing destination for executive nomads looking to combine work with leisure in a scenic setting.
  13. Malta: Positioned at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, Malta offers executive nomads a strategic location, favorable tax regime, and English-speaking environment conducive to remote work.
  14. Antigua: With its idyllic beaches, yacht-filled harbors, and business-friendly policies, Antigua provides executive nomads with a tranquil Caribbean haven for remote work and leisure.
  15. Côte d'Azur: The French Riviera's glamorous allure, cultural richness, and proximity to major European cities make it a desirable destination for executive nomads seeking a sophisticated work-play balance.
  16. Mauritius: Known for its stunning scenery, favorable tax incentives, and stable economy, Mauritius offers executive nomads a tropical paradise with ample business opportunities and modern amenities.
  17. Athens: Greece's historic capital city combines ancient heritage with modern conveniences, making it an appealing destination for executive nomads seeking a blend of culture, business, and Mediterranean lifestyle.
  18. Cyprus: Positioned as a bridge between Europe, Africa, and Asia, Cyprus offers executive nomads a strategic location, favorable tax regime, and Mediterranean climate ideal for remote work and leisure.
  19. The Bahamas: With its crystal-clear waters, favorable tax policies, and world-class resorts, the Bahamas provide executive nomads with a luxurious Caribbean retreat for work and relaxation.
  20. Tuscany: Renowned for its rolling hills, vineyards, and historic charm, Tuscany offers executive nomads a serene backdrop for remote work, along with a rich cultural heritage and culinary delights.

Find perfect apartments for rent in Lisbon

Top 4 destinations for digital nomads

Dubai

Executive Nomad Index rank: 1

Dubai's rapid expansion in fintech and financial services, coupled with its tax-free environment and high quality of life, attracts executive nomads looking for new opportunities.

Dubai excels in both physical and digital connectivity. Its main airport, Dubai International, is the busiest in the world for international passenger traffic.

Additionally, investments in digital infrastructure have propelled the UAE to having the fastest mobile internet speeds globally, making Dubai the top destination for executive nomads.

Málaga

Executive Nomad Index rank: 2

In recent years, Málaga, the economic hub of Andalucia, has emerged as a significant cultural and tourist destination renowned for its outstanding museums and charming old town. The city has gained further recognition with the arrival of high-profile corporations like Google.

Traditionally, the wealthy preferred large villas on the east side, but now, attention has shifted to the west for regeneration and landmark developments. One such development is Sierra Blanca Tower, where prices have set a new standard for Málaga at around €10,000 per square metre ($1,000 per square foot).

Prime residential rents typically range from €15 to €22 per square metre ($1.50 to $2.20 per square foot), but there is a shortage of available properties to meet the demand.

Did you know that we have a large number of accommodations for rent in Málaga and other regions of Spain? Take a look at our listings and we are sure you will find your ideal living space.

Miami

Executive Nomad Index rank: 3

Miami has been a popular choice for Americans looking for a better quality of life, thanks to its sunny weather, low taxes, and beautiful beaches. Recently, there has been an increase in executive nomads moving from financial hubs like New York and Chicago.

About half of these executive nomads, many of whom are planning for the long term and have committed to long commercial leases or purchased commercial properties, also buy homes.

Abu Dhabi

Executive Nomad Index rank: 4

Abu Dhabi, a new addition to the Savills Executive Nomad Index this year, is becoming a sought-after destination for executive nomads.

Foreign nationals can purchase property only in specific areas such as Saadiyat, Yas, and Al Reem islands, as well as Raha Beach. Rental apartments in these areas typically range from 120,000 to 200,000 AED ($33,000 to $54,000) per year for a one-bedroom apartment.

In addition to its real estate options, Abu Dhabi offers world-class healthcare, meeting another requirement for executive nomads. Moreover, the city provides a variety of indoor leisure and entertainment activities, ideal for escaping the intense summer heat.

Looking for accommodation to rent in nomad destinations?

Are you looking for apartments for rent in established and emerging digital nomad destinations? Then you should take a look at Flatio, including our apartments in Malaga, a popular destination for all kinds of nomads.

Here's a glimpse of the features that distinguish us from other rental accommodation providers:

  • Flexible, reasonably priced stays (from 5 days)
  • Availability of remote work-friendly rooms, flats, houses, villas, etc.
  • Utilities and Wi-Fi included
  • No deposit required for stays of less than 180 days
  • Balanced, legally binding, visa-friendly lease agreement (translated into multiple languages)
  • A very attractive cancelation policy
  • Online signing of lease agreement
  • StayProtection for Tenants, a service package to help tenants deal with emergencies such as internet problems and blocked doors, as well as accidental damage to property
  • Move-in Guarantee with a 24/7 emergency line
  • 100% money protection
  • Customer support available every day of the week
  • No hidden fees
  • A secure and simple payment system (including the possibility to pay with Bitcoin)
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