Hong Kong will welcome all “lawful and rule-compliant” capital, the treasury chief has said, after a top aide of Dubai Sheikh Ali Rashed Ali Saeed Al Maktoum reaffirmed the latter’s plan to return to the city to inaugurate his US$500 million family office.

“Hong Kong has adopted various policies and strategies to attract different institutions to come and establish family offices. These efforts are continuous,” Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui Ching-yu said on Wednesday.

“Any capital, as long as lawful and rule-compliant, is welcome in Hong Kong,” he told reporters, following an antechamber meeting with lawmakers.

Hui made his remarks after the prince’s aide told the Post that Maktoum would return to the city by June to attend the opening ceremony of his family office, meet potential business partners and take part in charitable activities.

The prince, who apparently had an alter ego as singer-songwriter Alira before he transitioned to a sustainability-focused investor last year, called off the original inauguration at the eleventh hour in March due to “some urgent unexpected private matters”.

His office later announced it was rescheduled to the end of May.

Eleanor Jane Mak, CEO of the prince Ali Al Maktoum’s Hong Kong-based office, has said the exact dates for the coming inauguration can be in June. Photo: Kahon Chan

Eleanor Jane Mak, CEO of the prince’s Hong Kong-based office, told the Post on Tuesday that the exact dates for the coming inauguration could be in June because of scheduling and other considerations.

The prince was at first reported to be a nephew of Dubai’s ruler and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, but was later identified as a member of a distant family branch.

Findings from an InvestHK-commissioned consultant showed that about 2,700 individual family offices were operating in the city as of the end of last year.

More than 130 family offices are planning to set up or expand their operations in Hong Kong, with about three-fifths of them based in mainland China, Hui told lawmakers in a written reply in April.

He added that the InvestHK team was confident it could achieve the target of helping at least 200 family offices to establish or expand their operations in Hong Kong by the end of 2025, a goal outlined in city leader John Lee Ka-chiu’s 2022 policy address.