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17,000 Pakistanis own 23,000 residential properties in Dubai

17,000 Pakistanis own 23,000 residential properties worth $11bn in Dubai. A probe has revealed the ownership of properties of the global elite in Dubai. The list includes political figures, globally sanctioned individuals, alleged money launderers and criminals. Pakistanis have also been identified on the list and their combined value has been estimated at around $11 billion. As per Dawn report, officials in Pakistan have tried in recent years to unearth details of Pakistani citizens who own assets in Dubai with an aim to bring undeclared assets and income into the tax net. But they have made little headway. Dubai authorities are reluctant to share information about something as simple as the number of Pakistani citizens with Dubai residence visas, commonly known as iqamas or Emirates IDs.
The leaked data provides a detailed overview of hundreds of thousands of properties in Dubai and information about their ownership or usage, largely from 2020 and 2022. It was obtained by the Center for Advanced Defence Studies (C4ADS), a non-profit organisation based in Washington, D.C., that researches international crime and conflict.
According to Geo News, among the Pakistanis listed in the Property Leaks are President Asif Ali Zardari’s three children, Hussain Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi’s wife, Sharjeel Memon and family members, Senator Faisal Vawda, Farah Gogi, Sher Afzal Marwat, four MNAs and half a dozen MPAs from the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies. The Pakistani list also features the late Gen Pervez Musharraf, former prime minister Shaukat Aziz and more than a dozen retired generals as well as a police chief, an ambassador and a scientist – all of whom owned properties either directly or through their spouses and children. Many of these have given clarification about their Dubai properties. 
Dubai is a global financial hub often described as a playground for the world’s rich. It prides itself on being an open economy for companies and individuals who want to make investments. But the glamorous emirate has a darker reputation as a tax haven, and top destination for murky sources of cash and money laundering — often through real estate transactions. In 2019, Transparency International dubbed the emirate a ‘money laundering paradise’, highlighting that individuals with questionable sources of income are able to invest in Dubai without restrictions.


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