Why Families Are Moving to the Cayman Islands
The Caribbean is often the place that retirees look to move, in pursuit of a slower pace of life and to escape long winters.
For others, moving to a tropical island is a reward for a lifetime of hard work and an opportunity to “live the dream.”
However, there is a new trend emerging in the Cayman Islands, the British Overseas Territory located a 70-minute flight from Miami, Florida.
The team at Provenance Properties – the official Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate in the Cayman Islands – says it is assisting a growing number of families with young children who are moving to Grand Cayman for “adventure, enhanced quality of life and an opportunity to be part of a multicultural community made up of more than 135 nationalities that enjoys the shared culture of ‘Caymankind.’”
“Our clients who are parents want a safe community where they can raise their children, and to live in a place which offers a rich natural environment for a healthy lifestyle and recreational activities,” Sue Nickason, VP Marketing and Sales at Provenance Properties, tells Caribbean Journal Invest. “They value quality education and health care facilities, a choice of neighbourhoods with quality constructed homes and a lifestyle which permits true life-work balance. This is what the Cayman Islands offers, and so much more.”
There are a number of reasons why this cosmopolitan archipelago is attracting families, the company says.
For parents, the economic aspect of living in a tax-neutral jurisdiction (no corporate, income, capital gains or inheritance taxes) has appeal, as does the lack of restrictions on foreign ownership of property and absence of property taxes.
Beyond these considerations is the standard of living for families and in this regard, Cayman’s offering is “world class,” Provenance says.
Here are 10 of the top reasons why families are choosing to relocate to the Cayman Islands.
With one of the lowest crime rates in the Caribbean and perhaps the world, the Cayman Islands is a place where children can safely play outdoors and families have little concern for personal security. There is a strong sense of community, “where neighbors look out for each other and families often come together for social events.”
The Cayman Islands is well regarded for its excellent schools offering both British and American curriculums. Students regularly meet or exceed international levels on standardised tests and matriculate to top schools in Canada, the US and the UK. Education is free for citizens of the Cayman Islands, whereas residents must send their children to private schools. Fees at these facilities are competitive to tuition costs at private day schools in Canada and the US, and facilities are first rate.
Over 1,000 healthcare professionals serve the Cayman Islands population of approximately 65,000 residents and there are 4.5 doctors per 1,000 residents, providing peace of mind to those who are sometimes hesitant about the availability of medical services available in the Caribbean.
There are three hospitals on Grand Cayman, with plans for the development of a fourth hospital announced in December 2020, and over 200 registered healthcare facilities, bringing medical expertise from around the world to provide high-quality healthcare to the population of the Cayman Islands.
Pediatric and maternity care services are well regarded in Cayman, and there are excellent providers in the fields of dentistry, optometry, psychology, nutrition and more.
Approximately 300 days of sunshine annually and warm weather year-round means there is lots of time for outdoor play and to learn new sports. Popular after-school activities are available at quality facilities and include soccer, rugby, tennis, swimming, sailing, horseback riding, golfing and, for older children, scuba diving. Indoor facilities include a hockey rink (the game is played on inline skates), a gymnastics centre and basketball. It is common for children to play a number of sports and have busy after-school schedules.
Arts and culture
Children will also find a number of wonderful arts and culture programmes in the Cayman Islands. Dance, music instruction and performing arts facilities are plentiful, as does instruction in fine art at facilities such as the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. The Cayman National Cultural Foundation offers a Young at Arts summer programme and a Young Image Makers Short Film competition. Children can also participate in Junior Batabano, a family-friendly street carnival for Cayman’s youth.
Standard of living
The Cayman Islands is recognised for offering one of the highest standards of living in the world. Modern infrastructure, well-appointed grocery stores, reliable utilities and communications and quality residential properties all contribute to the ease of living in the Islands. Whilst traffic has increased in recent years due to the growth currently being experienced, it still doesn’t compare to the congestion found in urban and suburban living elsewhere in the world.
Just for fun
Cayman is very social and it is easy to make new friends and become involved in the community. Weekends are spent at the beach, boating the North Sound, visiting Camana Bay to splash in the water fountains or catch a movie at the cinema, and enjoy leisurely and elaborate Sunday brunches at local restaurants and hotels.
Opportunities abound to volunteer – many residents love helping out at the Humane Society or participating in a community fundraising walk.
Families also enjoy taking scenic drives to the tranquil district of East End often include stops at the farmers’ market to buy local produce, explore the Crystal Caves, or enjoy walks at the botanical gardens. Heading east, there’s horseback riding on the beach, the chance to say you’ve been to Hell and visits to the Turtle Centre to get up close with these serene animals before cooling off at the lagoon-style swimming pool, complete with a water slide.
Four-legged friends are an important part of the family and they are equally welcome. The Cayman Islands is rabies free, so pets must have up-to-date vaccinations. Leashed pets are welcome on beach walks and it is possible to find quality long-term rental properties which accept pets.
Ease of access
When families move abroad, an important consideration is the ease of access for friends and relatives to visit. With more than 55 nonstop flights* on a weekly basis year-round, a modern airport and a fixed-base operator (FBO) for those who elect to fly on a private charter, Cayman is one of the easiest locales to reach in the Caribbean from Canada and the US. A nonstop flight to London Heathrow provides added convenience for travel to Europe and regional flights to the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica and Honduras provide opportunities for regional island hopping.
Beyond its obvious attributes, perhaps the most important reason why families are being drawn to Cayman is the “Caymankind” culture. It is a place where new residents are warmly welcomed and a strong sense of community prevails.
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*The Cayman Islands’ borders are currently closed to tourists due to COVID-19 and as such, regularly scheduled commercial flights are currently not available. Citizens and individuals with residency status can enter the country, provided they quarantine in a government-approved facility for 14 days upon arrival.