Dominica Area Guide | Become a Dominican Citizen
Dominica Coast

Dominica

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Dubbed the “The Nature Isle of the Caribbean”, Dominica is an idyllic island characterised by its dense rainforests and magnificent volcanic mountains. You’ll also find waterfalls, hot springs and a wide range of exotic animals there, making it a true paradise on Earth.

Not only does Dominica attract hundreds of thousands of tourists a year, but, unsurprisingly, many want to live on the island permanently. Fortunately for them, the country’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme allows them to do just this, as well as work and set up a business in Dominica. Among the world’s longest-running CBI programmes, after being established in 1993, it also enables individuals to receive a Dominican passport in a seperate process. CBI gives investors global mobility to 75 per cent the globe, including major financial hubs across the map like China, the UAE and Brazil.

In order to gain all of these benefits, applicants need to choose between two investment options (either the Economic Diversification Fund or pre-approved real estate) and make the required investment. With a minimum contribution of $100,000 USD, the Dominica CBI Programme is also the world’s most affordable. If you’d like to learn more about the Programme or make an inquiry, please don’t hesitate to contact us at your nearest convenience.

Dominica’s history

Dominica was one of the last Caribbean islands to be formed by volcanic activity 26 million or so years ago. It wasn’t inhabited until the Arawak people migrated there from South America in around 400 AD. The Arawaks were eventually driven out by Island Carib people (the Kalinago), who were Dominica’s last pre-colonial indigenous inhabitants.

Although the French and English agreed that Dominica should be left as neutral territory in 1660, the French took control of the island in 1727, before Britain conquered it 34 years later during the Seven Years’ War in Europe. Dominica was officially ceded to Britain in 1763, which, despite attempts by France to re-conquer it, retained control over the island until 3rd November 1978. This date marks Dominican Independence Day and is celebrated every year with a public holiday and various festivities featuring music, dance, food and dressing up in national costumes, such as the Wob Dwiyet. Both France and Britain imported enslaved people from Africa during their respective periods in possession of the island, meaning most Dominicans are of African descent.

Dominica’s location

Dominica is situated between Martinique and Guadeloupe and is not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, which is located 1034 km (642 miles) to the north. The country’s official name is the Commonwealth of Dominica, with the island having an area of 751 km² (290 square miles) with 148 km (91 miles) of continuous coastline.

Population

Around 71,000 people live in Dominica (making it the 10th least populated country on Earth), with just under a third of these residing in either Roseau, the capital, or Portsmouth, the second-largest city. Roseau is a picturesque array of 18th century French architecture, with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars to explore. Portsmouth is more easy-going, with the city’s main attraction being water-based activities, including diving, boating and whale watching.

Dominica is known for its inclusivity and rich cultural history, which comes to the fore with the country’s mix of European and African influences. Several Dominican traditions stem from Africa, including the bélé dance and lavway music. At the same time, the island is home to the Caribbean’s only remaining population of pre-Columbian Carib Indians.

The island is hugely influenced by Creole culture, considering the country has been claimed by the French in the past, with Creole the island’s native tongue. However, Dominica’s official language is English, which is spoken throughout the country. Just under two-thirds of the population practice Roman Catholicism, though Dominica’s constitution does allow for freedom of religion.

Dominica’s culture

Some of the main aspects of the Dominican culture include:

Food

Dominica’s cuisine is comparable to that of other Caribbean islands, with Creole cooking techniques heavily influencing flavours. Tropical ingredients and bold spices are common, as are exotic fruits and seafood.The country’s national dish is callaloo soup, which is produced from the green leaves of the dasheen plant, plus various vegetables and meat. Other staples include sancocho stew, mountain chicken (frog’s legs), stews consisting of manicou or agouti, and salted codfish.

Drink

Like many Caribbean countries, Dominica is synonymous with rum. The country has two main producers: Macoucherie and Belfast. The former’s rum is known for its sharp and earthy flavours, owing to the use of cane, whereas Belfast rum comes in a range of varieties. This includes the strong White Soca rum and the smooth Belfast D Special, a dark blend coloured with caramel. Dominica also has a strong tea culture, with the country’s tropical climate ideal for growing many of the plants needed to produce tea, including cocoa, hibiscus and periwinkle.

Music

Music plays a huge role in Dominican life, with popular genres including reggae, calypso, kompa and soca. Dominican music is typically sung in Creole French and relies on the West African use of call and response singing, clapping, and dance and rhythmic improvisation. The country is home to the annual World Creole Music Festival, which sees people from around the world descend on Dominica for a three-day musical bonanza.
Another major musical genre on the island is Dominican folk music, which is often played at work and in places of worship. Featuring bélé and quadrille dances, it is hugely influenced by West African and French Antillean cultures.

Sport

Dominica is a nation obsessed with cricket. Although it is one of the Leeward Islands, the country plays West Indies first-class cricket as part of the Windward Islands team, as it was previously part of this colony. Dominica also competes in test cricket as part of the West Indies cricket team. The country is home to the 8,000-seat Windsor cricket stadium, which opened in October 2007. Football, basketball, netball, tennis and rugby are also popular in Dominica. The country has sent athletes to every Olympic game since 1996, though the wait for a first medal still goes on.

Economy

Economy

Tourism is a massive part of life in Dominica, making up over a quarter of its GDP.

Dominica’s natural charm

Although the Caribbean is most famous for its white beaches and tropical temperatures, people come to Dominica for a different reason: its stunning natural beauty. The country is home to nine volcanoes and is enveloped in rainforest, meaning there are hiking opportunities aplenty.

Arguably the best hike is the demanding but thrilling Boiling Lake Trail, which lets you see the island from up high, as well as indigenous wildlife like the Sisserou parrot, lizards and snakes. The Boiling Lake itself is an extraordinary spectacle, with the 200 x 200 foot flooded fumarole a cauldron of bubbling greyish-blue water.

Among Dominica’s other natural highlights include its waterfalls and its wonderful coral reefs, which gives you the opportunity to spot sea life like sperm whales, octopuses and dolphins.

Dominica’s ecotourism

The country’s ecotourism industry is also attracting holidaymakers to Dominica. As the island aims to become completely climate-resilient, visitors can come to Dominica without having concern over the environmental impact of their trip.

There are many eco-friendly accommodations for tourists to stay at, some of which are CBI-funded. For instance, the Secret Bay hotel operates a Zero Waste policy and features villas built out of sustainably sourced tropical hardwood. Another example is Jungle Bay Resort, which uses local materials too, and cooks food supplied by local farms and fisheries.

land-and-climate

Land and Climate

Tourism is a massive part of life in Dominica, making up over a quarter of its GDP.

Dominica’s natural charm

Although the Caribbean is most famous for its white beaches and tropical temperatures, people come to Dominica for a different reason: its stunning natural beauty. The country is home to nine volcanoes and is enveloped in rainforest, meaning there are hiking opportunities aplenty.

Arguably the best hike is the demanding but thrilling Boiling Lake Trail, which lets you see the island from up high, as well as indigenous wildlife like the Sisserou parrot, lizards and snakes. The Boiling Lake itself is an extraordinary spectacle, with the 200 x 200 foot flooded fumarole a cauldron of bubbling greyish-blue water.

Among Dominica’s other natural highlights include its waterfalls and its wonderful coral reefs, which gives you the opportunity to spot sea life like sperm whales, octopuses and dolphins.

Dominica’s ecotourism

The country’s ecotourism industry is also attracting holidaymakers to Dominica. As the island aims to become completely climate-resilient, visitors can come to Dominica without having concern over the environmental impact of their trip.

There are many eco-friendly accommodations for tourists to stay at, some of which are CBI-funded. For instance, the Secret Bay hotel operates a Zero Waste policy and features villas built out of sustainably sourced tropical hardwood. Another example is Jungle Bay Resort, which uses local materials too, and cooks food supplied by local farms and fisheries.

air-travel

Travel by air

Tourism is a massive part of life in Dominica, making up over a quarter of its GDP.

Dominica’s natural charm

Although the Caribbean is most famous for its white beaches and tropical temperatures, people come to Dominica for a different reason: its stunning natural beauty. The country is home to nine volcanoes and is enveloped in rainforest, meaning there are hiking opportunities aplenty.

Arguably the best hike is the demanding but thrilling Boiling Lake Trail, which lets you see the island from up high, as well as indigenous wildlife like the Sisserou parrot, lizards and snakes. The Boiling Lake itself is an extraordinary spectacle, with the 200 x 200 foot flooded fumarole a cauldron of bubbling greyish-blue water.

Among Dominica’s other natural highlights include its waterfalls and its wonderful coral reefs, which gives you the opportunity to spot sea life like sperm whales, octopuses and dolphins.

Dominica’s ecotourism

The country’s ecotourism industry is also attracting holidaymakers to Dominica. As the island aims to become completely climate-resilient, visitors can come to Dominica without having concern over the environmental impact of their trip.

There are many eco-friendly accommodations for tourists to stay at, some of which are CBI-funded. For instance, the Secret Bay hotel operates a Zero Waste policy and features villas built out of sustainably sourced tropical hardwood. Another example is Jungle Bay Resort, which uses local materials too, and cooks food supplied by local farms and fisheries.

Tourism

Tourism

Tourism is a massive part of life in Dominica, making up over a quarter of its GDP.

Dominica’s natural charm

Although the Caribbean is most famous for its white beaches and tropical temperatures, people come to Dominica for a different reason: its stunning natural beauty. The country is home to nine volcanoes and is enveloped in rainforest, meaning there are hiking opportunities aplenty.

Arguably the best hike is the demanding but thrilling Boiling Lake Trail, which lets you see the island from up high, as well as indigenous wildlife like the Sisserou parrot, lizards and snakes. The Boiling Lake itself is an extraordinary spectacle, with the 200 x 200 foot flooded fumarole a cauldron of bubbling greyish-blue water.

Among Dominica’s other natural highlights include its waterfalls and its wonderful coral reefs, which gives you the opportunity to spot sea life like sperm whales, octopuses and dolphins.

Dominica’s ecotourism

The country’s ecotourism industry is also attracting holidaymakers to Dominica. As the island aims to become completely climate-resilient, visitors can come to Dominica without having concern over the environmental impact of their trip.

There are many eco-friendly accommodations for tourists to stay at, some of which are CBI-funded. For instance, the Secret Bay hotel operates a Zero Waste policy and features villas built out of sustainably sourced tropical hardwood. Another example is Jungle Bay Resort, which uses local materials too, and cooks food supplied by local farms and fisheries.

Business

Business opportunities

Tourism is a massive part of life in Dominica, making up over a quarter of its GDP.

Dominica’s natural charm

Although the Caribbean is most famous for its white beaches and tropical temperatures, people come to Dominica for a different reason: its stunning natural beauty. The country is home to nine volcanoes and is enveloped in rainforest, meaning there are hiking opportunities aplenty.

Arguably the best hike is the demanding but thrilling Boiling Lake Trail, which lets you see the island from up high, as well as indigenous wildlife like the Sisserou parrot, lizards and snakes. The Boiling Lake itself is an extraordinary spectacle, with the 200 x 200 foot flooded fumarole a cauldron of bubbling greyish-blue water.

Among Dominica’s other natural highlights include its waterfalls and its wonderful coral reefs, which gives you the opportunity to spot sea life like sperm whales, octopuses and dolphins.

Dominica’s ecotourism

The country’s ecotourism industry is also attracting holidaymakers to Dominica. As the island aims to become completely climate-resilient, visitors can come to Dominica without having concern over the environmental impact of their trip.

There are many eco-friendly accommodations for tourists to stay at, some of which are CBI-funded. For instance, the Secret Bay hotel operates a Zero Waste policy and features villas built out of sustainably sourced tropical hardwood. Another example is Jungle Bay Resort, which uses local materials too, and cooks food supplied by local farms and fisheries.

Dominica’s legal system

Dominica’s legal system is rooted in English Common Law. The hierarchy of the country’s courts is: Magistrate Court, High Court and the Court of Appeal. The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and the Privy Council are binding authorities, while the English Courts are persuasive. All of Dominica’s laws must adhere to the country’s written constitution, which contains provisions like the right to life, personal liberty and freedom of expression.

Dominica’s government system

Dominica is a parliamentary democratic republic. The executive branch comprises the president and the prime minister. Presidents are in office for five years and are nominated by the prime minister and the opposition party leader. The party appoints prime ministers with the majority of elected officials. The prime minister also recommends members of parliament (the House of Assembly) that the president appoints. Parliament is made up of 30 members (as well as the Speaker and Attorney-General), with 21 of these elected and nine senators selected by the president.

Dominica has a two-party system, with the Dominica Labour Party in power and the United Workers’ Party in opposition. The current president of the country is Charles Savarin, while Dr the Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit is the Prime Minister. Dominica has elections every five years, with universal suffrage for adults.

Currency

The East Caribbean Dollar (ECD) is Dominica’s official currency, though the likes of the euro and the dollar are accepted as legal tender. The island started using the ECD in 1965, which is also the currency of seven other members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. It is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of USD $1 to ECD $2.70, helping to maintain price stability and reduce inflation. As Dominica is part of the Commonwealth, all banknotes and coins feature Queen Elizabeth II’s image.

COVID-19

Dominica has been widely commended for how it’s dealt with the coronavirus pandemic. There have been fewer than 50 deaths in total since the country’s first case in March 2020, while over a third of Dominicans have been doubly vaccinated. The island appears to have avoided the worst economic impacts of the pandemic too. Most fully vaccinated nationals can visit the country without having to isolate as long as they test negative for COVID-19.