Over the past 25 years, the Dominican Republic has experienced a remarkable period of strong economic growth. The economy maintained its rapid expansion in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic; between 2015 and 2019, the annual Dominican GDP growth rate averaged 6.1 percent. Tourism, remittances, foreign direct investment, mining revenues, free zones, and telecommunications helped make the Dominican Republic one of the fastest expanding economies in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region.
In addition, the film law has led more and more international projects to choose the Caribbean country for filming. However, the favorable climate not only attracts this type of projects, but also motivates entertainment figures to bet on the country for their investments.
This Monday, the Puerto Rican salsa singer Marc Anthony met with President Luis Abinader without specifying what the meeting was about, but it could be to invest in a project. Marcos Antonio Muñiz, the artist’s first name, said that it is necessary to see how to help people with private investment in the Caribbean region. “It’s an honor to be home,” he said.
Vin Diesel, Ozuna, or Ricardo Montaner have been other art figures who have met with the head of state, and after these conversations have decided to invest in the country. They have not been the only ones, from Diario Libre we have investigated and bring the extensive list of celebrities who have or plan to have investments in the Dominican Republic.
Marc Anthony. The American is one of the celebrities who, in love with the paradisiacal beaches of the Dominican Republic, decided to have his own oasis here. The interpreter of “Vivir mi vida” spared no expense and built a luxurious mansion. The excellent climate and natural beauty of our tropical country played an important role in his decision. The spectacular residence, which can accommodate 24 guests, is in the Casa de Campo complex, located in La Romana, 112 km from Santo Domingo. He also has in action his foundation to help underprivileged children in La Romana, through his Maestro Cares Foundation, with which he inaugurated the Niños de Cristo Orphanage.
Venezuelans Daniel Sarcos, Ricardo Montaner, Spaniard Diego el Cigala and American Vin Diesel have not only been motivated to invest in the country but have also expressed or carried out their interest in obtaining Dominican nationality.
Ricardo Montaner. In February 2020, the Dominican government granted residency to the artist, which he proudly shared on his social networks. Since 2016, Montaner chose to live in Samaná. And he took this nation because “it is a very Christian country and we want to delve deeper into that. To help young people to move forward”, as he revealed in an interview.
In addition to this house, the Venezuelan singer-songwriter confirmed that he is building a boutique hotel in Samaná. It will be called Lluvia and will be an exclusive 11-room establishment.
“In the family we have always had the desire to have a hotel and we have already started to build it”, said the singer Ricardo Montaner in a press conference in the Dominican Republic. Finally, he donated some land to the government for the construction of a school to promote education in the community.
As a result of these investments, the singer Camilo, married to Evaluna Montaner, the artist’s youngest daughter, said that he is in the process of buying a house next to his famous father-in-law in Samaná.
Diego el Cigala. The singer settled since 2013 in the Dominican Republic, driven by the economic crisis in his native country, but also by his work schedule, since at that time most of his concerts were held in this part of the planisphere.
It was for these two powerful reasons that he decided to pack his luggage, take a plane and go with his then wife, the late Amparo Fernández, and his two sons Rafael and Diego, to the Caribbean island. The interpreter of ‘Si tú me dices ven’ decided to go to a house he had fallen madly in love with, located in the residential area of Playa Nueva Romana.
The residence of the singer, who was also granted Dominican nationality, and was distributed over two floors, had four bedrooms, six bathrooms and all the amenities you can imagine.
He did not stay in that house for long, since he later moved to Tortuga Bay and the community of Arrecife, where he had Julio Iglesias as a neighbor.
Julio Iglesias is the next one we are going to talk about. The Dominican Republic is the country that Julio Iglesias chose for his most ambitious investments, always hand in hand with designer Oscar de la Renta, whom he considered like a brother. Together with Frank Rainieri and Theodore W. Kheel, he set up the Punta Cana Group, which owns, among other properties, the local airport, two golf courses, several housing developments and hotels. Julio and Oscar lived some golden years until the death of the Dominican designer in 2014.
According to international reviews, that loss, in addition to the new and tougher tax rules in the Dominican Republic, prompted the singer to decide months ago to turn around and sell his entire stake – 25 percent -, keeping only 5 percent of the Punta Cana airport.
Vin Diesel is another who does not leave the country after learning that, on his father’s side (whom he never met), he has Dominican blood. Apart from always scheduling the country as one of the places to shoot his movies, the actor signed an agreement to build a movie studio in Puerto Plata, in the north of the Dominican Republic, announced last year by the country’s president, Luis Abinader.
The studios will be built by the production company One Race Films, founded by Vin Diesel, and responsible for the “Fast and Furious” movie saga.
“From #Bergantin, Puerto Plata we want to announce to the country the signing of an agreement for the construction of a film studio under the direction (of) @vinDiesel and One Race Film (sic.), which will consolidate the Dominican film industry and will generate thousands of jobs and boost tourism,” Abinader said on his Twitter account.
Abinader, who is developing this Sunday a work agenda in Puerto Plata, published a photograph with the American actor, in his third visit to the country in a few months.
The Dominican government has not disclosed for the moment any details about the cost of the investment or the size of the studios.
Venezuelan TV presenter Daniel Sarcos has moved his main investments to the Dominican Republic, although he lives in Florida, where he has his two TV programs Aquí se habla español and La guerra de los sexos.
His former program partner and compatriot Viviana Gibelli, who in 2015 had planned to settle in the Dominican Republic, where she had planned to create television projects, finally desisted, but that did not keep her away from investing in this nation. She set up a beauty salon in Santo Domingo. Like them, other famous Venezuelans such as La Beba Rojas or Leonardo Villalobos, not only work in television spaces as celebrities but also have investments in houses.
Actors interested in investing in the DR
Mark Wahlberg, Robert De Niro, Jamie Foxx, Steven Seagal and Fernando Colunga are some of the actors who have investments or have publicly expressed their interest in investing in the country.
In June of this year it was reported that the American actor and producer Jamie Foxx would be acquiring a luxury residence in Casa de Campo with 6 bedrooms for an amount of US$14.2 million.
Miches became the focus of interest of two of the most important movie stars in the world.
One of them is Robert De Niro, with investments in Dubai and other countries, who has filmed movies in the country, has been interested in Miches, El Seibo, which coincides with investments in the tourism sector in other countries, including the Caribbean island of Barbuda, where an investment proposal of US$250 million from the actor, has caused controversy.
Brad Pitt also visited the town of Miches in the Dominican Republic, accompanied by businessman George Nader and some friends, where he spent moments of leisure and relaxation on the Costa Esmeralda beach. Pitt was visiting at the beginning of April 2021.
After filming a movie, the American movie star Mark Wahlberg has been impressed by the beauty of the Dominican Republic to the point of having plans to build a house in Cabrera, a municipality in the province of Maria Trinidad Sanchez, on the north coast of the Caribbean country. “I came at Christmas and I was in Cabrera, I spent some time in Playa Grande, I bought a piece of land and I’m going to build a house,” said the actor.
Another actor, Steven Seagal, is willing to make a substantial investment. The interpreter spent several days visiting the Caribbean country, where he said he was amazed by its landscapes, the friendliness of its inhabitants and the potential of the Dominican Republic. So much so that the actor is willing to invest up to 300 million dollars (more than 250 million euros) for film productions in the country.
Finally, the star of more than a dozen soap operas, actor Fernando Colunga, developed in the country the Cana Dorada Film Festival, a festival to promote tourism and local cinema. Colunga stated that “this initiative seeks to strengthen Dominican tourism; that is one of the main objectives, to promote tourism”. He also said, “we must take advantage of the great talent of the Dominicans and make it clear to the people who visit the DR, it is a country where you can invest; it is a place where you can grow”.
Singers are not left behind and have or plan to have investments in the country, whether for vacation, living, business or to develop their more supportive side; figures like Jay Z and Beyoncé, Offset and Cardi B, Shakira, Romeo Santos, Ozuna or Ricky Martin, have investments in the country.
Those who have villas are Romeo Santos, Offset and the luxurious mansion he gave to his wife, the rapper Cardi B, Shakira (who according to international media sold his villa in Casa de Campo), in addition to developing actions of his foundation Pies Descalzos, for his foundation has also developed projects in the country the singer Ricky Martin and Juan Luis Guerra, who resides in the country.
One of the biggest investments has been made by the reggaeton musician Ozuna, he acquired a popular radio station in Santo Domingo, which he relaunched under the name of Alofoke FM, a new radio station dedicated to urban music and interactive programs.
The new radio station officially began broadcasting on October 4, occupying the space of Sonido Suave (99.3 FM), from which Matías has been broadcasting successful programs such as the morning show “Esto no es radio” for months.
Politicians and businessmen have also invested in Dominican communications and hospitality. The large investments of Carlos Slim, the richest Latino in the world, and those of the former president of the United States and businessman Donald Trump in Punta Cana are examples of this.
Cirque du Soleil with fixed residence in the country
Considered one of the most spectacular circuses in the world, Cirque du Soleil announced at the end of September its arrival in the country with the show “Kooza”, which will be presented in a big top that will be installed at the Downtown Center in Punta Cana from January 7, 2022.
Punta Cana and Santo Domingo are among the vacation spots of choice for stars such as NBA legend Michael Jordan, and the world’s best soccer players Leonel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but the country has also become an investment attraction for sportsmen.
Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal has a luxury villa in the Dominican Republic valued at US$643,000. For several years, soccer player Iker Casillas has been promoting soccer in the country. Not only has Iker Casillas come to give the BBVA Soccer Clinics, but he is considered by many as the best goalkeeper of all times and has investments in the area of soccer with some schools teaching this sport discipline.