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09 March 2020
BUSINESS

DIFC shrugs-off global trend, adds 2,000 jobs as registered firms increase

The financial hub is home to 737 active financial firms, representing an 18 per cent increase since 2018 and 64 per cent growth in five years

DIFC started expanding in 2019 and upon completion, the new district will have 6.4 million square feet of office space/Bloomberg

by Kudakwashe Muzoriwa

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) added more than 2,000 new jobs in 2019, a nine per cent year-on-year increase compared to 2018.

DIFC stated that it attracted 493 new businesses in 2019 and now counts 17 of the world’s top 20 banks, eight of the 10 leading global law firms, three of the top five insurance companies and six of the top 10 asset managers among its clients. In 2019, the number of active companies at the Middle East’s major financial hub increased to 2,347. 

Notable registrations in 2019 include AntFinancial’s global payments pioneer WorldFirst, Malaysia’s Maybank Islamic, the US’ Cantor Fitzgerald and Mauritius Commercial Bank.

HE Essa Kazim, the Chairman of DIFC Authority Board of Directors and Governor of DIFC, said, “The centre’s success is being powered by our focus on sector diversification, investment in innovation and our unwavering commitment to attracting the best global and local talent.”

The Governor of the DIFC said that Dubai’s financial district will be expanded gradually and only when there is demand for new space.

The financial hub started expanding in 2019 and upon completion, the new district will have 6.4 million square feet of office space.

In January 2019, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai approved a plan to increase the area of the DIFC.

The development of DIFC 2.0 will provide an international focal point form fintech and innovation, enhancing the centre’s reputation as one of the world’s most advanced financial centres and reinforcing Dubai’s position as one of the world’s top ten fintech hubs.

Essa Kazim said that the plan is on track but it’s going to be done on a gradual basis in phases, adding that the hub will start with phase 1A, B, C and then build according to the needs.

Furthermore, last year the centre further enhanced its legal and regulatory framework with the enactment by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of a number of new DIFC laws to ensure businesses and investors can operate across the region with confidence.

The new regimes are in respect to employment, intellectual property, insolvency and a flexible new prescribed companies regime for investment and structuring purposes.


RELATED STORIES: Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC 2.0 Maybank Islamic Mauritius Commercial Bank WorldFirst

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