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DIFC Announces Strong Growth In 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), in a statistical update on August 31, has announced strong performance thus far in 2010.

Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of the DIFC, said: "Since its inception in 2004, the DIFC has grown to become one of the world's top international financial centres connecting the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and the world. Today, the DIFC with its modern infrastructure, free zone status and self-governing laws and courts, is globally recognized as the preeminent and favoured financial centre in the region.

He added: "While the DIFC continues to evolve, we have achieved a very encouraging performance so far this year, especially in light of the global economic backdrop of the last two years.

Salient achievements in 2010, as cited by the DIFC, include that:

  • Despite the downturn, the overall number of active registered companies operating from the DIFC has remained constant at 745, meanwhile new companies have been registered from emerging markets such as China, Malaysia and the Indian subcontinent;
  • Major international financial institutions are expanding their regional footprint using the DIFC platform;
  • The DIFC continues to enhance its regulatory environment, including with the introduction of new changes to the DIFC's Collective Investment Funds regime.
  • Occupancy of the DIFC's Gate District (Gate Building, Gate Precinct and Gate Village) remains high at 92% of the leasable space. Meanwhile, the DIFC has recorded an annualized growth rate of 20% in terms of additional office space leased in DIFC.

In particular, in its analysis of developments during 2010, the DIFC noted recent recognition of Dubai as one of the world's top 25 international financial centres. "At the same time, and for the 7th time in a row, Dubai maintained its status as the leading financial centre between Europe, Singapore and Hong Kong, the DIFC said.

Awar continued: "Within five years of launching, the DIFC has achieved what it was established for. We are now embarking on a new phase of growth and continue to act as a gateway. We will continue to attract new companies to the Centre, as evidenced by the strong pipeline of companies and applications currently being processed. We will also continue to develop the DIFC's legal and regulatory framework and its physical infrastructure to enhance the support the DIFC provides for the economic growth of the region."

The DIFC community comprises of 745 active registered companies, with 297 regulated and 374 non-regulated companies, and 74 retailers. Currently, 16 of the world's top 20 banks have established a presence at the DIFC; meanwhile 8 of the world's largest asset managers, and 4 of the 5 world's largest insurers, are also based at the DIFC. Approximately 40% of the regulated firms come from different parts of MEASA; 42% from across Europe; and 18% from the US and rest of the world.