London has returned despite severe Covid lockdowns and utter destruction of the economy even with Brexit and notwithstanding the European conflict. More than ever, the city is unstoppable. Further, the major roadblock to foreign investment entering London has now been removed. But have locals even noticed given the year the city has had?
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Royal Ascot, RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Wimbledon, Boris’s resignation, and, in the summer’s worst-case scenario, the Queen’s passing and subsequent weeks of grief, are just a few of the events that came up last year.
After that, frenetic drama at 10 Downing Street over the autumn subsided when Rishi Sunak was appointed prime minister in late October.
London was of course the focus of attention more than any other location during the turmoil, with the possible exception of Kiev, serving as a reminder to everyone that London is amazing and it has been a very long time since they went (Not that the city’s marketing machine was losing steam). When it comes to Instagram hashtags, Facebook (or is it Meta?) check-ins, and Tripadvisor ratings, London continues to be at the top.
It’s fortunate considering the requirement to host all the visitors: With $16.07 billion, London came in third place overall (and first in Europe) for cities where visitors from outside spent the most money in 2022, practically tied with Doha. (Dubai came out on top handily.)
Speaking of drawing people, while justified, the concern over the exodus of intellect and money caused by the gloom of Brexit (and the spectre of an airborne virus that followed) now seems overdone. A declining pound that has lured investment and, of course, previously priced-out tourists has boosted London’s resiliency and freshcomers. The best city on earth now has new wealthy citizens who can afford to cross off a major item on their multi-millionaire bucket list: real estate.
In the first half of 2022, an astounding 61 expensive London properties—each costing at least US$11.5 million—were sold. The number is the highest in ten years.
In two offices in London’s King’s Cross district, the digital giant Meta is currently constructing its largest worldwide engineering headquarters. Another explanation for Meta’s encumbrance? TikTok, a mortal enemy, has long made London a priority. Just last year, it began a 15-year lease on an entire office tower near the Farringdon Crossrail station. Whereas, in 2024, Google plans to open its 7,000-person London headquarters on 11 floors. It makes sense that the city is second only to Paris in terms of Global 500 headquarters on the continent.
London has attracted more foreign direct investments into tech from foreign companies since 2018, surpassing New York, Singapore, and Dubai, as per FDI. The lowest corporate tax rate among the G7 nations and a plethora of research and development tax credits are recent examples of tax incentives that provides financial benefits for all that relocation.
Thu Aug 31,2023