Huriya Private is an independent, international, award winning private equity, immigration, multi-family office and corporate structuring firm with head office in Dubai, UAE.  We provide bespoke strategic management support to international clients in global markets.


John Hanafin is a financier, investor, deal maker and established Huriya Private after 20 years in financial services in the Middle East.


A focused professional with entrepreneurial drive and a commercial mindset,  John has over 25 year’s experience in the HNW Trust & Corporate Services industry, with 15 years based in Dubai, Doha and Manama. With an extensive background in serving the specialised needs of high net worth investors around the world, John brings to the table proven leadership experience in global financial services, sports management, commercial & promotional media negotiations, residency and citizenship planning, estate planning and other related services. In addition to sitting on the boards of various organizations globally, John is also a trusted advisor to governments for the structuring and implementation of programs to boost corporate re-domiciliation and foreign direct investments, and was recently appointed as the FDI Director to the Vanuatu Trade Commission in the UAE.


John is a Chartered member of the Securities Institute (CISI), a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), a member of the International Tax Planning Association (ITPA), a member of the International Business Structuring Association (IBSA), and an FA Registered Intermediary, authorized to conduct intermediary activity on behalf of professional football players and clubs in England.

“The right to freedom of movement is a fundamental right preserved in the laws and constitutions of most countries, however we see evidence daily that this right is limited to the borders and visa restrictions of ones country of citizenship or lawful residence.


I have established Huriya Private to provide private advisory services to a select number of families and private individuals. Our team brings decades of professional financial services experience with an international network of contacts, and a deep understanding of the needs of the modern day high net worth client or international family.


We have great experience in advising some of the GCC’s wealthiest individuals. In an increasingly complex world, we help them to protect, maintain and enhance their private wealth. We provide them with the freedom to travel visa free, and to access and repatriate their wealth, in the most commercial, tax efficient and cost-effective manner possible.”


John D. Hanafin

Founder | CEO


John Hanafin TEP LLM MCSI has over 25 years experience in the high net worth Trust & Corporate Services industry, with 15 years based in the Middle East, and an extensive background serving the specialised needs of ultra high net worth investors around the world.


Approved, licensed and recognised by many international FSCs, John is a trusted advisor to governments for the structuring and implementation of programs to boost corporate re-domiciliation and foreign direct investments. John is a chartered member of the Securities Institute (CISI), a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), a member of the International Tax Planning Association (ITPA), a registered intermediary of the Football Association in the UK, and sits on the boards of various organisations around the world.

Paul Heijsman



Paul is a Partner at Huriya and for the past five years has overseen Dual Citizenship and European Residency by Investment of Huriya Private clients from the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Paul is passionate about getting clients the best possible deals and uses his vast experience in brokering deals to guide clients through the whole process, from consultation to securing the desired opportunity and investment. His portfolio also covers UAE Residency, including company set ups.


Prior to joining Huriya Private, Paul worked in Oil & Gas for over 12yrs starting in Norway and eventually went on to living and working in Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Houston, and Cape Town being the Regional Business Development Manager for Africa.


Paul is from the Netherlands and has lived abroad for over two decades on more than 4 continents. He is a Formula One enthusiast and supports Ajax Amsterdam Football Club.

Alexis Sakallis



With a BCom in International Business, Trade and Tax Law, Alex is an experienced business developer and deal maker with an extensive network in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Also an immigration expert, Alex specializes in serving the specific needs of mobile High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth Individuals in the MENA region.

Katerina Pawlowska MA

Chief Operations Officer


Katerina Pawlowska MA has a Masters in Management, and is a highly accomplished and influential multi-lingual HR Director and Organisational Transformation Specialist with an international career spanning 15 years. Katerina is skilled in steering corporate strategy in international companies through organic and new market growth, whilst advising on strategic direction and managing system enhancements and implementations.


Katerina has led highly effective projects both within many international businesses and charitable organisations. Her expertise also covers motivating innovative company-wide people practices to drive talent as a competitive differentiator, and implement commercially successful strategies that both sustain operational excellence and facilitates company growth.

Sehrish Burza

Head of Sales – Citizenship & Residency


Sehrish Burza has a Bachelors of Business Administration and over 6 years experience in the citizenship by investment industry as a branch operations manager and sales team leader.  Sehrish has significant expertise in handling high net worth client applications for residency and citizenship in over 15 countries, from the Caribbean to Europe.

John Viola

Board of Advisors


With nearly 30 years in the football industry, John is a vastly experienced international football agent, having negotiated multiple high profile global transfers throughout his career. He is well known and well respected by his peers and is continually sourcing record breaking player moves and negotiating club sales. John manages the sports investment portfolio of Huriya Private – organizing regular meetings with our high net worth investors and designing their investment strategies.

Ivan Vanderhyden

Board of Advisors


Ivan Vanderhyden is the Executive Director and Founder of Business Aviation Concepts, a bespoke private aviation advisory firm for UHNWI, Corporations, Family Offices and Heads of State, specialising in business aircraft Sourcing and Acquisitions, Operations and Aircraft design and completions oversight.


Ivan brings a distinguished career of 26 years discipline and focus, including private VIP owner Captain, Private charter, aircraft completions management oversight, new aircraft acceptance and delivery, Manufacturer demonstration pilot, senior level management roles including Director of Aviation, Aviation Manager and Chief Pilot, as well as flying professionally a number of business jet aircrafts around the globe.


Ivan has been successful in facilitating multiple business aircraft transactions for clients of Huriya Private and has earned the respect of his clientele with a foundation firmly planted in transparency, professionalism and trust.

Stuart Young

Board of Advisors


Stuart is an internationally renowned fine wine expert whose devotion to the prestige wine scene has compelled him to taste numerous world class wines in the name of professional research.


His wine career has taken him from the Grands Crus Châteaux of Bordeaux to the noble Domaines of Burgundy, eventually leading him to the cutting-edge wineries of California, which he recognised to be producing wines of unsurpassed quality and complexity, but in tiny volumes.


At the forefront of the California fine wine scene, Stuart’s regular uncovering of innovative, limited production wines has gained him a global following of wine lovers eager to acquire his new discoveries.  The strength of his winery relationships allows him to secure wines at release where long waiting lists typically make them inaccessible to all, but the most patient of collectors.   Ever keen to impart his knowledge with those who share his enthusiasm, his tastings and winemaker dinners have become the stuff of legend.


Four Corners Wine believes that California is producing the most dynamic and exciting wines in the world, a fact firmly supported by critical acclaim.  The business offers a fully managed service, advising private clients around the world on investments of passion and helping them to build great wine collections with both financial and drinking potential.  Thanks to its close, in many instances exclusive, relationships with elite wineries, Four Corners Wine provides unrivalled access to the finest wines, alongside tailored advice and bespoke service.

Brendan Cottle

Immigration Consultant


Brendan is an early Millennial with a 360° vision of leadership, strategy and business development across multiple sectors throughout the MENA, SADC and CIS regions. With over a decade’s worth of experience working with leading international and start up brands, his limitless thinking has influenced some of the most successful business minds who have institutionalized well-known brands and have multiplied their global retail operations. Brendan believes that behind a successful brand, business or individual is a team of people that share the passion. Brendan holds a MBA degree from the University of Roehampton in London.


“HURIYA” – ‘Arabic – Freedom’.

noun UK /’fri:·dam/ US /’fri·dam/

the right to live in the way you want, without being controlled by anyone else.

Cambridge def.