Monte Carlo

Where is Monaco located?
Monaco is located in Western Europe, along the Mediterranean coast of France.

How large is Monaco?
Monaco is only three-quarters of a square mile, making it the second smallest sovereign nation in the world, after Vatican City.

What is the climate like in Monaco?
It has a mild climate, with around 300 days of sunshine a year.

How many people live in Monaco?
About 38,000, representing 120 nationalities.

How many of these people are citizens (referred to as Monégasque)?
About 8,300 of the 38,000 residents are citizens.

What is the per capita income?
The average Monaco resident averages about $244,000 a year, making it the country with the highest income per capita in the world, according to the United Nations.

Is Monaco a tax haven?
Contrary to erroneous reports, one cannot conceal bank accounts in Monaco. But it is a tax-friendly place for residents. Monaco derives half of its public revenue from a value-added tax (VAT) on commercial transactions. Furthermore, corporations face a 33 percent tax on profits — unless the business can prove that three-quarters of the company’s revenue is generated within the confines of the principality.

Should one establish a business here?
Monaco is a secure place for employees, centrality in the European region, proximity to an international airport, excellent climate, and a favorable tax system. Monaco has a moderate tax system, which means no income tax (except for French and American residents, who still pay their home country taxes); no property tax; no business taxes; and no tax on profits for companies if more than 75 percent of their revenue is made in the principality.

What is the life expectancy of a Monaco resident?
With a life expectancy of almost 90 years, the population of Monaco has the world’s longest life span.

What is the unemployment rate?
Much of the workforce arrives from France and Italy but leaves on a daily basis, and most residents are employed or retired. Consequently, virtually no unemployment exists in Monaco.

What is the country’s minimum wage per hour?
The minimum wage is 9.43 euros, or $13.77, compared to a federal minimum wage of $17.29 in Australia. Monaco also includes five percent extra to compensate for travel costs incurred by the three-quarters of the workforce who travel to Monaco from France and Italy.

Who is in charge of Monaco?
Monaco is a constitutional monarchy. His Highness Prince Albert II has executive power.

How do you become a citizen of Monaco?
There are three ways of becoming a Monégasque: The first is by birth, with one of the two parents being a citizen. The second is by marriage; after 10 years of marriage you can apply for citizenship. The third, and most rare, is by sovereign order, meaning that His Highness Prince Albert II can grant citizenship.

What is the price per square foot of residential real estate in Monte Carlo?
The price per square foot in Monte Carlo is $8,427, thereby making it the most expensive place in the world. The most expensive penthouse in the world was reportedly sold last year in Monte Carlo’s new development, the Odeon Tower, for a reported $520 million. The second-most-expensive penthouse title belongs to London, with a $307 million one in Hyde Park. New York and Hong Kong compete for third.

How many Monaco police officers work in the principality?
Monaco has the largest police force and police presence in the world on both a per- capita and a per-area basis. Monaco has one police officer for every 70 residents.

What is the currency?
The currency of Monaco — as in the rest of the European Union — is the euro.

In the event of war, who protects Monaco?
Should war break out, Monaco is protected by France’s armed forces.

What is the strength of Monaco’s economy?
It’s a financial hub. It has zero tax on personal income or savings. It also has commercial activity such as services, tourism, and real estate.

Why become a resident?
If you take into account the weather, the quality of life, the safety, and the lengthy life expectancy, plus the lack of income or real estate taxes, and you can afford Monaco, why not become a resident?

Monaco is a beacon of intrigue that will draw you in like the green light that initially drew Jay Gatsby to Long Island Sound.
The French Riviera — a.k.a. Côte d’Azur, a name coined by French writer Stéphen Liégeard — runs along the Mediterranean coastline on the southeast corner of France. The jewel in the crown of the French Riviera is the sovereign state of Monaco. The Principality of Monaco is one of the world’s smallest independent states, second only to Vatican City. It is separated into four quarters, the most famous of which is Monte Carlo, founded in 1866 and named after then-ruling Prince Charles III. It’s been ruled by the Grimaldi family since 1297. Monaco is a principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as head of state. In other words, he’s the authoritative man in charge.

To think that in less than a single square mile, one can find about 120 nationalities as residents — that makes Monaco the most cosmopolitan place on the planet. Of course, the citizens of Monaco, referred to as Monégasque, number around 8,000 out of nearly 36,000 residents.

Per capita income is the highest in the world, at $244,000. And figure this: Life expectancy is also the highest in the world, at 90 years of age. And who says wealth isn’t health?!

Monaco is a must-see place, and the more you explore, the more culture and intrigue you can find. Monte Carlo plays host to some of the world’s most famous sporting events. The Monaco Grand Prix is the jewel of the Formula 1 crown. Furthermore, racing enthusiasts will also be attracted to the historic Monte Carlo Rally, in which car manufacturers take to the track showcasing clever automotive innovations.

Monaco has many famed, inspired buildings, such as the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, designed by noted architect Charles Garnier, and the Oceanographic Museum, once directed by the brilliant mariner Jacques Cousteau. In addition to its world-class offerings, Monaco is an idyllic destination for sailing aficionados. With its dramatic cliffs hovering over majestic, grandiose yachts, Monaco boasts arguably one of the most aesthetic — and prosperous — harbours in the world.

The living experience in Monaco is unlike anything, anywhere else! Visitors to Monte Carlo will quickly discover that the domain is one of the cleanest and safest places he or she will visit, primarily as a result of heavily policed streets. No wonder that in Monaco you will find the best wheels on Earth: Bugattis, Rolls-Royces, Ferraris, Koenigseggs. There is one police officer per 70 residents. And each is a model police officer: not strict if you’re having a good time, such as your lifting two girlfriends into the two-seater. But then they will rightly give you a hard time if you commit a faux pas such as failing to give the right of way to a pedestrian.

Adjacent to the Casino is the Hôtel de Paris, with 187 rooms and 75 suites, offering sea views or amazing scenes on the Plaza. In the past few years, Monte Carlo has doubled down on its own brand of extravagance by modernising the casino and truly upping the ante on luxury to court and attract today’s generation of international travelers. Two large-scale construction programs — emblematic of Monaco’s grand vision for the future — are under way: a new complex that will include the revitalisation of the Hôtel de Paris (which will remain open throughout the renovation) and a dual building project that will launch an entirely new creative residential as well as shopping quarter. In the words of Luca Allegri, SBM’s managing director: “Our current renovation projects include a metamorphosis of the Hôtel de Paris. This will bring a new feel to the whole of the Monte Carlo area and eventually improve its overall offering of residences, shopping spaces, gardens, and venues for artistic events as well as meetings, when fully completed in 2018.”

Business opportunities are also present in that the government is swift to accommodate and attract entrepreneurs. Monaco is a hub of important financial and international activity. The financial institutions hold an estimated $1 trillion in total deposits.

The finest in Monaco and the Riviera is no longer in the past but instead in the exceptional. ■

By Jacqueline Miró Photographed By Bill Phelps

For the full article grab the June 2016 issue of MAXIM Australia.

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Nobody’s Team

Ekaterina Strelkova