Hollywood legend Robert De Niro made a big pitch for the Caribbean destination of Antigua and Barbuda this week at an investment conference in Dubai.
De Niro, who is an investor along with Australian billionaire James Packer in the Paradise Found hotel project in Barbuda, has been serving as a special economic envoy for the twin-island nation since 2014.
“It’s a beautiful place, that’s why I’m involved in this project,” De Niro said during a press conference at the Palazzo Versace in Dubai, joined by Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
Antigua and Barbuda is opening an embassy and a trade and economic center in Abu Dhabi, the first country in the Caribbean Community to do so.
Antigua and Barbuda has found success in the Middle East pitching its Citizenship by Investment program, which offers citizenship in exchange for large investments in the country.
“The CIP program for the twin-island has become popular thanks to the level of trust built due to the continued bilateral economic developments and favourable investment climate,” says John Hanafin, CEO of Arton Capital, a global citizenship advisory firm.
The UAE has been one of the largest investors in the country of late, most recently with a $150 million resort project called Callaloo Cay.