Cyprus is a glorious island country, in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its unique location at the crossroads of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa – means architectural and cultural influences came from all directions, contributing to a rich and diverse heritage.
As a member of the EU, it makes use of the Euro, and has been an independent country since 1960; although the UK has retained two sovereign RAF bases in Cyprus, due to its geo-political importance. Cyprus is independent of Greece, although they share and enjoy common cultures, food and religion.
Adorned with golden beaches, green forests and other natural wonders, it boasts one of the healthiest environments in the world. Crime rates are incredibly low, and education is of high quality. In Cyprus, east meets west; traditions play an important role in society, but life is never stuck in the past. It offers a relaxed, gentle pace without ever being dull.
In fact, Cyprus has been voted the 5th Best Relocation Destination in the world, with over 200 000 expats – mostly British, American and Russian nationals – choosing to call Cyprus home.
Cyprus Fast Facts
Total Population: Just over 1,1 million (Feb 2016)
Languages: Greek and English (90% of residents speak English)
Driver orientation: Left
Legal system: Based on English common law
Distance to other countries:
- Fly to London in 4h30
- Fly to Moscow in 3h38
- Fly to Dubai in 3h35
- Fly to Rome in 3h10
Larnaca is one of the fastest growing cities in Cyprus, and the gateway to the island. Larnaca Town Council’s has created the Vision 21 Masterplan which focuses on the redevelopment and regeneration of the hospitality and tourism industry; with major infrastructure projects, which is great news for the Larnaca economy.
VISION 21 Regeneration projects are well progressed
The International Airport of Larnaca now handles some 7,5m passengers per annum
The city’s famous promenade has been extended, land reclaimed from the sea and now joins the main beach Finikoudes to Makenzie Beach providing beach, shopping, nightlife, pubs and restaurants and kilometres for cycling, walking and jogging fringed by its famous palm trees
The fishing port has been upgraded and extended evolving into a multi-use facility for fishing, scuba-diving, coffee shops and restaurants
The town public squares have been uplifted and feature outdoor cafes, restaurants, and pubs.
The existing marina is set to be expanded to 1000 berths, to accommodate the biggest private yachts and cruisers.
The commercial port is to be upgraded to be able to handle cruise ships which in the peak months; some 5 to 7 cruise ships will dock, some 30 000 additional tourists a week who will sail/fly in/out, shop, stay, and explore the Island
According to the World Health Organisation, Cyprus is one of the healthiest countries in the Mediterranean. The high quality of healthcare in Cyprus means that life expectancy statistics are on par with other western countries, and many people from the Middle East visit Cyprus for medical treatment. The high standards and value for money healthcare services has broadened into medical tourism as many combine health with recuperative holidays.
In Cyprus, each town boasts a government hospital, where medical care is administered for a low fee. Visiting a doctor can cost from €30 to €50. There are numerous private clinics, with skilled specialists in every field. Private medical insurance schemes for comprehensive care cost between €300 and €1500 a year. Cyprus boasts a doctor for every 370 people, a dentist for every 1,100, and a nurse for every 215.
Cyprus citizens, EU citizens who are retired or pensioners, and those legally employed in Cyprus are eligible for The Social Insurance Scheme, which provides monetary benefits for retirement, illness, disability, old age, marriage, maternity, orphans, unemployment, widows, death, and employment injury.
Retiring In Cyprus
There are many reasons why people from across the globe choose to retire in Cyprus. It’s been named the 4th Best Retirement Destination Globally (by Knight Frank, 2016), due to its promise of safety, warm climate, and accessibility. Add to this the low cost of property, and Golden Visa Programme (Residency-by-Investment Fast-Track Programme), and its clear Cyprus is a strong contender when it comes to finding the perfect country to retire to.
But perhaps the biggest advantage to retiring in Cyprus are the tax benefits for retirees where pensions can be zero rated for tax at source, and taxed in Cyprus at the very low rate of 5%.
The country also does not have inheritance tax, which makes it appealing to those wishing to leave a legacy for their children.
Business In Cyprus
Many individuals and businesses look to establish a presence internationally – and Cyprus is an ideal country in which to do that; with superb tax benefits for employees and newly settled residents. It offers a strategic location, full EU membership, a developed legal system, and a competitive corporate income tax rate of 12.5%. Dividends for non-resident shareholders are tax free
There are personal and business tax incentives, designed to to appeal to families and high-net-worth individuals and entice multinational companies to relocate their employees to work from Cyprus.
- In Cyprus, taxable income up to €19,500 is exempt from income tax.
Taxable income is subject to progressive income tax rates, ranging from 20% to 35% (Plus €60,000 pa).
- Income earned outside Cyprus is tax exempt; if services are rendered for more 90 days in a tax year.
- Cyprus is a party to more than 60 tax treaties that provide for zero or reduced withholding tax rates
on dividends, interest and royalties
- Pensions from abroad are taxed at a flat rate of 5%.
- There is no tax on gains arising from the disposal of investments shares, bonds, and other similar financial instruments.
- There is no estate duty, wealth tax, gift tax or inheritance tax in Cyprus.
Sample Personal Tax Computation in Cyprus (KPMG)
KPMG calculate below the Cypriot tax liability of an individual who takes up employment in Cyprus,
earns income from investment sources and realises a capital gain on the sale of real estate
The primary tax residency is Cyprus for the non-domiciled individual.
Cyprus benefits enormously from tourism, with visitors flocking to its shores to experience its beauty, culture, lifestyle, and luxury. Every year, tourism records are broken; and they are set to continue doing so.
Currently there is no gambling in Cyprus. This is about to change as the Melco Hard Rock Consortium is building a 100 table, 1000 slots themed casino resort, set to commence operations in 2020. It is expected that this will attract an additional 400 000 quality tourists pa and create 2400 new jobs
Cyprus’ economy is growing, especially since the discovery of offshore gas; with estimated reserves of over 4 trillion cubic feet, valued at over $50 billion. April 2017 saw further agreements by global energy giants, including ExxonMobil USA, Total of France, Qatar Petroleum, and Eni of Italy, win licenses to explore and drill for oil and gas off the southern coast of Cyprus.
The European Union sees Cyprus as a future energy hub that would give Europe access to gas deposits discovered in the eastern Mediterranean; ensuring stability of gas supplies as Russia as a reliable supplier has proved troublesome.
Cyprus greatly values education – and has a strong focus on developing a knowledge-based economy. The education sector is expanding, offering diverse, EU-standard education that appeals globally. It’s no wonder why 30% of the island’s students are foreigners; it’s ideal for rigorous, value-for-money education.
There are five private universities in the country, with consistently high academic standards, which offer English-language courses in modern, relevant vocations. The University of Nicosia offers a BSc programme in energy, oil and gas management, for example, while the European University of Cyprus, offers a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering, studying of the impact of climate change and earthquake risk on construction.
Cyprus also offers the chance to get a British degree. St George’s University of London, the only specialist medical and healthcare higher education institution in the United Kingdom, and the University of Nicosia, the largest university in Cyprus, have joined forces to offer the St George’s graduate-entry 4-year MBBS (Bachelor in Medicine and Bachelor in Surgery) programme in Nicosia, Cyprus.
The University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus (UCLan Cyprus), is also the only university in Cyprus offering British degrees in all the major branches including honours, postgraduate and MBS degrees recognised both in the UK and in Cyprus.
Read more about Education in Cyprus.
Life in Cyprus is second to none, mostly because of the warm hospitality of Cypriots. Life is laid-back – but never boring. Voted the Second Best Climate in the world, with 300 days of sunshine a year, the country’s stretches of beaches offer days filled with sun-tanning and water sports. And thanks to many luxury resorts, you’ll never be spoilt for choice when it comes to spas, outdoor activities and world-class restaurants. A little more inland, you’ll be met with pine-scented forests, serene mountains and beautiful waterfalls.
But it would be mistake to see Cyprus simply as another Mediterranean seaside location. It also has a rich cultural offering; ancient ruins, a wealth of museums and galleries, archaeological sites and ancient and modern art.
Some activities you can look forward to include:
- Yachting: Important races and regattas take place year round.
Leisure yachters can be part of the community at local marinas, ports and bays.
- Private jets: A host of private jet services offer exclusive travel and VIP experiences.
- Golf: Find scenic, challenging and world-class golf resorts within 60 minutes drive of anywhere on the island.
- Spas: A growing investment in wellness means Cyprus is focused on a holistic lifestyle with numerous well-being centres.
- VIP Nightlife: Exclusive, VIP soirees, luxury restaurants, designer cocktail bars and high-end clubs
Cyprus is always lively.
- Wine-tasting: Wine lovers can enjoy vineyards showcasing the country’s nearly 4000-year old history in wine producing.
Old traditions meet new technology in Cyprus wineries, and make for interesting tours.
- Sightseeing: Cyprus is a small island – with a big heart, and large history.
Private tours to ancient landmarks and breath-taking landscapes will keep the family busy all year round.