The following is an exclusive interview with Michael Costache a Jet Set concierge living and working in Monaco.
1. Where did you grow up and who influenced you most in your formative years?
I grew up in a lot of cities around Europe because of my father’s job. My father had a really big influence on me. He taught me how international business has to be managed and all the difficulties that comes with globalization and all the benefits that you can take from it. He also taught me that business is seen and developed differently considering where you live. I learned how important it is to keep that in mind when dealing with world wide clients because the trends that inspire them, their needs and their expectations radically differ from place to place.
2. When Americans think of Monaco we see a fairy tale land of royal families, castles, Grace Kelly and James Bond, how does our view differ from a locals’ perspective of Monaco?
Monaco is a magical world for a lot of people around the globe. It symbolizes a luxurious lifestyle, the jet set, the royal family, the Formula One Grand Prix and of course a great history with Grace Kelly and Prince Albert. The principality attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists throughout the year. Actually, living here all year long these elements become quite normal and just a part of everyday life. The Monegasque experience is totally different if you are a tourist or a local. People living in Monaco have their favorite spots when dining or chilling time comes. We all know each other and visit each other without even paying attention to the glamorous environment that the tourist or foreigners see on TV. As I said, it is totally normal to see a Ferrari or a Bentley at every street corner, meeting Lewis Hamilton or Michael Schumacher or even contemplating the most sumptuous yachts on the port all year long.
[Note from Rob: Monegasque is a romance language and a dialect of the modern Ligurian language, which is spoken in Monaco.]
3. How is living in Monaco different from living elsewhere?
Well, Monaco is located on the edge of Europe and across the Mediterranean and is synonymous with luxury, perfect weather and a certain lifestyle that you couldn’t find anywhere else. It’s just a very special place that attracts a lot of new potential citizens every year, because unlike other tax havens Monaco is associated with a very specific image. Once you’ve lived in Monaco it will never be the same as living in Switzerland or Andorra for example.
[Note from Rob: Monaco attracts high net income people such as movie stars, athletes etc. to become residents of the Principality in order to benefit from personal income tax exemption. Also, you may never have heard of Andorra but it should be on your list of countries to visit. It’s located in the North East portion of the Pyrenean mountain range which separates France and Spain. The key attraction is it’s tax haven status.]
4. I understand that there are a lot of economic advantages (you mentioned a tax haven) to being a citizen in Monaco, could you explain further?
Sure, Monaco is famous around the world for its image of a tax haven. In effect, the residents of the principality can enjoy no income tax, no tax on large fortunes, no local tax, no housing tax and no tax on property gains.
Moreover, in addition to the strong fiscal advantages, Monaco offers an exceptional living environment thanks to its security (1 policeman for every 100 citizens- the highest rate worldwide) and personal safety features combined with a very well-managed health and educational systems, an outstanding infrastructure for travel and transport and many cultural and sporting events such as the Formula One Grand Prix, the Tennis Master Series and the World Music Awards.
5. How would you describe the Jet Set side of Monaco?
From the beginning, Monaco has known how to mix all the ingredients for an exceptional Jet Set lifestyle; perfect year round weather, safety, famous casinos, 5 stars palaces, world-known nightclubs and last but not least the name Monaco has become a brand in it self that exemplifies Jet Set.
Unlike other well known Jet Set places like Saint Tropez or Sardinia, celebrities can be seen all year long in the principality and that is due once again to the fiscal policy present here. Very wealthy people obviously prefer to live and save their money in a no tax country so it is very common to see the top celebrities and the millionaires from all around the world in the same shopping mall or at the supermarket as you. It is just part of everyday life.
6. Would you describe some Jet Set parties and events you have attended in Monaco?
Monaco [as well as the French Riviera] are hosts to numerous jet set parties and events year round. For example, I was invited to the 50 cent pre-party prior to the World Music Awards at Zebra Square (which is a very famous and prestigious lounge bar in Monaco). There were lots of other celebrities in attendance (like Akon and Ciara ) which really made that night very, very special. The after party was fantastic too because most of the performers from the show were invited to “Jimmy’s” (one of the most famous nightclubs in the principality) and I got an opportunity to party with G-Unit, Mika, David Guetta and Avril Lavigne.
I was also invited last summer to the Armand De Brignac Jay-Z official party organized by the famous Champagne brand and to the P. Diddy party in Cannes at VIP ROOM during the film festival. I can assure you that these parties are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The atmosphere, the organization and the people present make them truly unique. web development company dubai