DUBAI, Sept. 7, 2022 (WAM) — Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), a leading global financial center in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, posted strong growth in the first half of 2022 .
The Center’s strong performance will strengthen DIFC’s Strategy 2030 to advance the future of finance and differentiate Dubai as a global hub for financial institutions, fintechs and innovative companies, enhancing its economic contribution to the emirate.
A total of 537 new entities were registered in the first half of this year, representing a year-to-date increase of 11%. The total number of companies operating in the DIFC has increased from 3,297 to 4,031 at the end of June 2022, a 22% year-on-year increase.
This has delivered the fastest rate of job creation growth since its inception, further expanding the region’s largest and most diverse industry talent pool. As a result, the demand for commercial space has also surged.
Demonstrating the attractiveness of the market-leading DIFC’s operating environment, legal and regulatory framework, innovation offerings, and ecosystem depth, the center is currently home to 1,252 financial and innovation-related companies, expected to open by 2021. That’s a 22% increase from the same period last year. The number of companies surged from 406 to 599, a 23% year-on-year increase. New clients include Rapyd, the first Israeli company regulated in the UAE. Tarabut Gateway is the first regulated open banking platform licensed by the DFSA. KMMRCE Holdings is a leading digital-first technology provider based in Dubai. Oneglobal Broking, a professional international brokerage firm. Wealth & Asset Management ADIB Capital Ltd.;
His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Sheikh of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and President of DIFC, said: Vice President, Prime Minister and Emir of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will create a financial hub in Dubai that rivals the world’s best, fueled by the emirate’s strong and stable economy , a rapidly evolving international environment. “
“Dubai International Financial Center is a powerful force for financial companies in various sectors, including global leaders, regional players and promising entrepreneurial ventures, to innovate, scale their businesses and add value to the economy. The continued expansion of a thriving financial community has created a growing global profile as an industry cluster that provides exceptional opportunities for DIFC’s expansion and business development. We continue to build productive, long-term partnerships with financial firms around the world by providing them with the infrastructure and support they need to increase their responsiveness, competitiveness and potential for growth. ” he added.
DIFC President Essa Kazim commented: In addition, they pave the way for continued economic growth in our region and around the world., fintech and innovation. “
DIFC Authority CEO Arif Amiri said: Attracting new business and talent to our ecosystem at an unprecedented pace. Leading fintech and innovation initiatives, evolving laws and regulations, and influencing the way we think with our counterparts around the world , contribute to our success. These factors lead the way for our partners and clients to continue to deliver a financial future that supports our growth ambitions as an innovation economy. “
DIFC continues to be at the forefront of the evolution of FinTech and innovation. In June, DIFC hosted the region’s largest Fintech Week, bringing together fintech innovators, leading investment firms, banks, policy makers and service providers to accelerate the industry’s adoption of next-generation technology solutions.
To support the growth of fintech and innovation companies in the region, DIFC launched the Global Venture Studio Hub and expanded the Innovation Hub’s proposition by introducing a US$100 million venture debt fund.
In line with the country’s vision of becoming the global benchmark for open finance, DIFC has set up the region’s first open finance lab under an agreement with the UAE Central Bank. The lab will work with banks, fintechs, regulators and industry to unlock the sector’s next wave of growth, increasing consumer protection, financial inclusion, social good and economic opportunity.
In the first half of this year, the UAE-India Startup Corridor Agreement was established, creating new licenses for artificial intelligence and coding, attracting more companies to establish a presence at the DIFC.
The DIFC Employee Workplace Savings (DEWS) plan has been expanded to include expatriates from Dubai government agencies. This further supports the DIFC’s vision of driving the region’s financial future by reforming its end-of-service benefit plans to align with global retirement savings standards.
DIFC is the region’s largest ecosystem of financial services companies. With DIFC’s contribution to Dubai’s nominal GDP estimated at 5% in 2021 and DIFC financial companies’ contribution to the UAE’s financial services sector exceeding 13%, the center has become a key growth driver for Dubai and the UAE. increase.
Among 4,031 entities, the DIFC is now 17 of the world’s top 20 banks, 25 of the world’s top 30 global systemically important banks, 5 of the top 10 insurers, It is home to 5 of the top 10 asset management firms and many leading international law firms. and consulting firms.
In addition to supporting new clients, DIFC works with existing established clients to capture additional opportunities in the region. This year, he was joined by clients such as Societe Generale, one of Europe’s leading financial groups. Kuwait’s Al Ahli Bank, one of the region’s leading banks, is expanding its presence with a license upgrade.
DIFC continues to develop laws, regulations, and industry thinking to differentiate itself as a global financial center.
Changes to DIFC laws and regulations in the first half of this year included changes to globally recognized data protection laws. The law supports the development of technology and innovation while ensuring that the rights of individuals are adequately protected by the companies within the DIFC and the companies with which they are involved. The DIFC Data Protection Act is in the final stages of assessing parity with UK privacy law and is a partnership that offers practical solutions to the complex issues associated with cross-border data sharing.
The center has also generated a new wave of interest in Dubai from US financial services firms. This followed a successful roadshow attended by senior executives from over 100 of America’s leading financial services and technology companies. Additionally, the Republic of Turkey Roadshow held a series of strategic meetings in Istanbul with key customers and partners in a move to build strong partnerships with companies in the Republic of Turkey.
In the Middle East, the DIFC successfully held a roundtable in Tel Aviv, Israel, with 30 prospective clients from a wide range of businesses in the financial services sector. The roundtable “MEASA Growth Opportunities for Israeli Tech Firms” discussed the benefits for Israeli fintech firms to establish a presence in his DIFC. Another significant roadshow was held in Cairo, Egypt, attended by 89 companies and entrepreneurs to discuss how Dubai and DIFC support family businesses to optimize their corporate and financial structures and access market opportunities. and explored the availability of digital technology.
In collaboration with the World Alliance of Financial Centers and Z/Yen Group, DIFC also led the development of the white paper “The Future of Financial Centers”. This white paper highlights the role financial centers play in supporting global economic growth and sharing a vision for 2030. The center has already introduced some recommendations, providing an early entrant advantage. DIFC chairs the Dubai Sustainable Finance Working Group (DSFWG), which was established in 2019 with the aim of creating a leading sustainable financial hub for the region. In the first half of 2022, the DSFWG will establish four sub-working groups with the aim of promoting his ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) awareness, expertise and adoption in Dubai and the wider region. We develop industry reports and tools.