Pavel Durov received UAE citizenship

According to Forbes, Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, who has been living in Dubai since 2017, received UAE citizenship in February 2021 and is the billionaire’s fourth citizenship.

Durov is currently a citizen of four countries simultaneously - Russia, the Caribbean state of St. Kitts and Nevis, France and the United Arab Emirates.

In February 2021, Durov met with the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Muhammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Sheikh is the son of the UAE Prime Minister. The meeting took place in Dubai, but its goals and results were not announced at the time.

During a meeting with the sheikh, Durov noted that “Dubai’s startup ecosystem, developed infrastructure and business-friendly legislation have made it a hub for talent and entrepreneurs seeking to reach a global scale”.

In 2017, Durov opened the Telegram headquarters on the 23rd floor of one of the complex’s towers in the Dubai Media City free economic zone. He explained his decision to move to the country by the fact that the DMC has no taxes and does not want to "work for the government 180 days a year”.

In 2013, Durov received citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis Island, which he said had never been there. “This is a convenient situation because it allows you to travel to the EU and the UK without a visa”, Durov said on his VKontakte page.

In August 2021, the French government issued a decree granting French citizenship to Pavel Durov. The date and place of birth of the new French citizen coincided with the information of the founder of the Telegram. The decree did not say exactly why Durov obtained citizenship.

In mid-April 2022, Durov asked Forbes magazine not to call him a Russian billionaire. "Pavel left Russia many years ago and will not return”, his spokesman told the publication.