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Whilst the second citizenship industry may have previously been considered a male-dominant field, the gender gap is closing in. With more opportunities for female entrepreneurs than ever before, women are now taking the helm at many UAE-based immigration consultancies.

Preeya Malik

“In recent years, we have seen many more immigration advisory and consulting firms being headed by women, turning it from a mostly male-dominated industry less than a decade ago, to an industry which is respecting women for their unique contributions to the field,” says, Preeya Malik, Step Global Managing Director.

Experts suggest that the reason for this surge in females joining the industry is partly due to the encouragement of women entrepreneurship in the region.


“Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, women entrepreneurship in the UAE has experienced a significant surge, with a remarkable 68 per cent growth,” says, Saadiya Saadat, Managing Director, Secondpass Global. “This can be attributed to the UAE’s commitment to promoting gender equality across both private and public sectors. Mirroring the UAE’s vision, at Secondpass Global, 70 per cent of our workforce consists of women.”

The fact that females are taking control of the sector is good news for everyone involved.

Vrinda Gupta

Vrinda Gupta, Brand Custodian of Vazir Group, says, “Female leaders in the second citizenship industry can play a critical role in driving innovation and growth. Women may bring different perspectives to problem-solving, which can lead to more creative solutions and better outcomes. Women’s unique perspectives and leadership styles can help drive innovation, growth, and success in this dynamic and evolving industry.”

With the merits of the balance of a more female workforce, positions are rapidly opening up. At Citizenship by Investment firm, Huriya Private, women account for over half the senior leadership positions.

Katerina Pawlowska

Katerina Pawlowska- Hanafin, COO and Co-Founder of Huriya Private, says, “Women focus on an alternative perspective with regard to the citizenship by investment industry. Family security, education and the best opportunities for the next generation tend to feature high on the consideration scale. Having female leaders certainly leads to a more adaptable and versatile consultation with our clients.”

However, despite the positive growth of female leadership in the sector, there still remain challenges.

Gupta of Vazir Group, says, “Second citizenship is a niche industry that requires specialized knowledge and expertise in immigration laws, regulations, and policies of different countries. As female leaders in this industry, they may face challenges related to gender bias, societal stereotypes, and cultural barriers that may affect their ability to lead and expand their businesses. However, having a women’s perspective in leadership can bring unique advantages such as better communication skills, empathy, and the ability to build strong relationships with clients and stakeholders.”

Although there might still be some hurdles along the way, there is nothing that can’t be overcome, as one female entrepreneur running an established immigration business can testify.

Riteekaa Sinnha

Riteekaa Sinnha, Managing Partner, iKonnect Citizens, says, “My advice to fellow women entrepreneurs would be to believe in yourself and your abilities and to constantly strive to deliver world-class service. Secondly, to always stay updated with the latest immigration laws, regulations, and trends, and keep your fingers on the pulse of the industry. Also, build a network of industry professionals, partners, and collaborators who share your vision and will support you in growing your business through referrals and recommendations.”

With successful collaborations and women leading the way, it is highly encouraging news for the investment by citizenship sector. As the female workforce propels the industry into the future, they are set to drive the sector further as they continue to break through that glass ceiling.