09 September 2012

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Continues to Grow in First Half 2012

09 September 2012 - Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial and business hub connecting the region’s emerging markets with the markets of Europe, Asia and the Americas, updates the market today on its continuous positive performance throughout the first half of 2012. 

The net total of active registered companies operating in the Centre grew to 899 (FY 2011: 848), an increase of 6%. 90 commercial licences were issued in H1 2012 compared to 64 licences in H1 2011, a year-on-year increase of 41% 

DIFC has continued to strengthen its position as the international financial centre of choice in the region. As of 30 June 2012, 899 active registered companies had a presence in DIFC (FY 2011: 848 companies), with 329 regulated, 465 non-regulated companies, and 105 retailers (FY 2011: 322 regulated, 423 non-regulated, and 103 retailers). The number of employees working in DIFC stands at around 13,000. 

Interest from North America and Europe continues to increase as western multinationals look to diversify their operations and expand towards the East. DIFC also witnessed sustained interest from Middle Eastern and Asian firms looking to increase their exposure to opportunities arising in Africa and the West. Today, the geographical diversity of the Centre’s total number of regulated companies reaffirms DIFC’s growing status as a global financial centre. Approximately 36% of regulated member companies come from Europe, 26% from the Middle East, 16% from North America, 11% from Asia, and 11% from the rest of the world. 

In the first half of 2012, DIFC issued 90 commercial licences, representing a 41% increase in registrations from same period last year (FY 2011: 135 registrations; H1 2011: 64). The Centre welcomed 9 new regulated companies including: Coutts & Company, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Ltd, NBAD Investment Management (DIFC) Limited, ICAP Securities Limited, CIMD (Dubai) Limited and Stonehage Trust holdings (Jersey) Limited 

Amongst the licences were 73 issued to new non-regulated companies including: Booz & Company (M.E.) LLC, BMW Finance (United Arab Emirates) Ltd. and Marubeni Europower (Middle East) Limited. 

DIFC also attracted 8 new retailers including Mint Leaf of London and Brownbook Publishing FZ LLC. 

As it continues to develop its modern and supportive infrastructure, major international firms took up significant additional space within the Centre including ES Bankers, which trebled its presence during the first half of this year. 

DIFC remains the financial hub of choice for the world’s leading companies with 17 of the world’s top 25 banks, eight of the world’s ten largest insurers, eight out of 15 top law firms, ten of the top 20 money managers and seven of the top ten consultancies all based in the Centre. 

This is also underlined by Dubai’s ranking in the Global Financial Centres Index, which tracks competitiveness among 77 international financial hubs. Dubai is ranked the leading financial centre in the region and was also named amongst the top five centres where companies are thinking of opening offices. Moreover, a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit commissioned by Citi, entitled Hot Spots - Benchmarking global city competitiveness, ranked the most competitive 120 cities in the world for their demonstrated ability to attract capital, business, talent and tourists. Dubai was ranked 40 overall and the first in the MENASA region. Dubai was also ranked 10th overall for its financial maturity. 

Source: DIFC