At first glance, Grand Cayman might seem like a laidback, tropical paradise in the Caribbean. With friendly people, magnificent turquoise waters and glistening white sand on award-winning Seven Mile Beach, it’s easy to see why visitors come from around the world to experience the Cayman Islands. However, once they arrive, first-time visitors are often surprised to find much more than just sun, sea and sand; they find a sophisticated and cosmopolitan island that has attracted significant international brands to its shores.
Grand Cayman, the largest of the three Cayman Islands, is an international financial services centre and was recently ranked by the Global Complexity Index as the easiest place in the world to do business. Bloomberg recently reported that the Cayman Islands was the sixth-most frequently visited country in the world by private jet arrivals in 2018, and the country continues to achieve record-breaking stay-over visitor arrivals every year. The British Overseas Territory continues to appeal to business leaders and owners across various sectors as an attractive place to do business, thanks to benefits like tax neutrality, modern infrastructure, a stable government and thriving economy. And yes, the sophisticated tropical island lifestyle makes Grand Cayman a very attractive place to live as well.
Global coffee company, Starbucks, is the latest international brand to open in Cayman, arriving in Camana Bay, a 685-acre master-planned New Urbanist town that is also home to international firms like PwC, EY, Mourant and Ogiers, an international school, and many shops and eateries. Over the past 11 years, Camana Bay has become a thriving town and it was a natural fit to have the globally recognised Starbucks brand join the Camana Bay community.
This first Starbucks location in Camana Bay is one of four planned to open on Grand Cayman over the next three years. “Our first store on the beautiful island of Grand Cayman marks a key milestone for our expansion in the Caribbean region,” said Tim Grever, operations director for Starbucks Caribbean markets.
Starbucks joins Camana Bay during a period of growth and development, which includes the ongoing expansion of Cayman International School, the construction of a 60,000-square-foot Foster's supermarket and launch of Camana Bay’s first for-sale residential offering, OLEA.
NKY Fashion Group operates four stores in Camana Bay and another two on Grand Cayman. The shops are stocked with the latest fashions from top brands including BCBGMAXAZRIA, Robert Graham, Hale Bob and Trina Turk, all of which helped NKY celebrate 10 years of offering fashion to the Cayman Islands with an international fashion show last December.
Many hospitality brands have also established a presence in Cayman. Just a short drive from Camana Bay is the acclaimed Seven Mile Beach, home to Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa, Margaritaville, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and the newest hotel, Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, which opened in 2016 and marked the first resort for the boutique hotel brand in the Caribbean.
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is also home to Blue by Eric Ripert. Around the world, the name and brand of Eric Ripert is synonymous with culinary excellence. His signature restaurant is Le Bernardin in Manhattan and Blue, his only other restaurant, is located right here in Grand Cayman.
In George Town, cruise ships passengers provide a steady stream where the shopping is especially appealing with international jewellery brands including Cartier, Chanel, Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe, Tiffany, Gucci, Hublot, and more. The Cayman Islands has no sales tax, keeping prices low, and many United States residents take advantage of their duty-free allowance with purchases of jewellery or designer fragrances.
Aside from the retail element, the Cayman Islands is also home to many global professional services firms. In addition to the firms located in Camana Bay, international law, accounting and investment firms including KPMG, Deloitte, MUFG, Grant Thornton, BDO, Walkers, Appleby and Maples all have offices on Grand Cayman and 47 of the top 50 banks in the world have some type of presence in the Cayman Islands.
There is more on the horizon for this growing island as savvy business leaders increasingly look to Cayman as a place to establish global headquarters. For more information about doing business in the Cayman Islands, Dart’s real estate division has launched a handbook filled with information, facts and details on everything from obtaining work permits and buying real estate to incorporating a business and opening bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. The guide can be viewed online or it can be downloaded as a printable PDF.
In other news