As part of its Impacts 2022 programme, real estate broker Savills curated The Savills Executive Nomad Index.
It looked at 15 destinations around the world which had a digital nomad visa programme or equivalent, and allowed free movement of people for living or work.
The locations were rated based on their quality of life, climate, air connectivity, prime residential rental market and (crucially) their internet speed.
The modern executive nomad
The modern executive nomad, according to Savills, “owns a villa in the Algarve or a condo in Miami, attends Zoom calls from an airy home office, and hops on a flight back to London, New York, or Geneva for the quarterly board meeting.”
As opposed to island-hopping remote workers and freelancers, the executive nomad relocates to a country that offers a higher quality of life, often with their spouse and children.
Young professionals search for city centre apartments, while families look for larger homes with access to quality opportunities in education and learning.
Both types of executive nomad are snapping up properties that, before, would have most likely been purchased as holiday homes. This is transforming residential markets in countries around the world—particularly in those locations favoured by the digital nomad.
Best destinations for the digital nomad in 2022
With its start-up culture, dynamic co-working spaces, sunny climate, and low cost of living, it is no wonder Lisbon was ranked the best location for executive digital nomad to live.
The Portuguese capital is bursting with career and work-related opportunities; the number of top businesses in the city continues to grow, and every year, Lisbon hosts the famous tech Web Summit event, which attracts a large number of skilled professionals.
Outside of work hours, Lisbon offers a vibrant culture and nightlife—from Michelin star restaurants and exquisite art exhibitions to lively music events. This plays a significant role in attracting the relatively wealthy nomad in search of an all-round high quality of life.
Miami takes second place with its sunny climate, vibrant social scene, and large community of young skilled professionals. Around 1,000 people relocate to Florida every day, where they are assured low taxes and an abundance of remote working opportunities. The city is also a great destination for remote workers due to its connectivity and strong digital infrastructure.
Dubai ranks 3rd as one of the world’s most up-and-coming locations, favoured by those in search of a more lavish lifestyle. The UAE landmark is followed by the Algarve—the second Portuguese destination to make the top five.
The index is naturally dominated by destinations which offer a high quality of life due to their warm climates and beautiful natural landscapes. Other noteworthy destinations to make the list were Barcelona, Barbados, Cote d’Azur, and Tuscany, among others.
Highly skilled, relatively wealthy, and able to invest in prime residential property, the executive digital nomad has a lot to offer our world’s cities.
It is unsurprising, then, that many countries are taking steps to cater for, and attract, the digital nomad figure. Most recently, Portugal launched its new Digital Nomad visa which enables foreign nationals to live in Portugal whilst self-employed or working for an employer outside of the country.
As the world becomes increasingly digitalised, and the remote working population continues to grow, other countries are likely to follow suit in the years to come.
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