By aligning with the national government agenda that aims to ensure Dubai’s sustained prosperity and accelerate the development journey of the Emirate, DIFC has been at the forefront of financial sector advancement and Innovation.
DIFC is home to some of the biggest names in the financial services industry, working side by side with start-ups and entrepreneurs with a vision of being the leaders of tomorrow. The Centre continues to deliver on its commitment to lead the way towards a new financial landscape, and reinforce the foundations of a thriving business community and an inclusive financial sector.
DIFC works closely with stakeholders regionally and internationally to develop a robust and enabling business environment and comprehensive ecosystem. The Centre offers an independent regulatory and judicial system, a global financial exchange, access to funding, a dynamic and enabling sector environment, complemented by a vibrant business community.
Banking & Capital Markets
For banks, this presents enormous opportunities to expand existing businesses and develop new customers. As a leading international financial hub, DIFC offers the number-one location in the region to tap this dynamic environment. The city of Dubai sits at the heart of emerging markets that are demanding a full range of commercial and wholesale banking services. Banking is one of five areas within the Banks and Capital Markets focus at DIFC. The other areas include Private Banking, Investment Banking, Brokerage and Capital Markets.
Wealth & Asset Management
Wealth Management is one of four areas within the Wealth and Asset Management focus at DIFC. The other areas include Asset Management, Private Equity and Fund Management. Individuals and families require all types of wealth solutions. Interest is particularly strong in investment and portfolio management, estate and inheritance planning, Sharia-compliant wealth management, and real estate and financial advisory. DIFC’s total Wealth and Asset Management (WAM) industry is worth USD$424 billion, of which USD$99 billion was invested by DIFC portfolio managers.
Insurance & Reinsurance
New opportunities are fueled by a low base of insurance coverage, increasing health insurance mandates, and trillions of dollars in projects. The region also offers exciting niche opportunities in cyber risk, trade credit, political risk, luxury goods and financial lines. Given the growth of Islamic Finance, Takaful and Re-Takaful solutions are also offered by a number of clients. DIFC provides reinsurers, brokers, independent Managing General Agents and Lloyd's Coverholders a robust, globally recognised regulatory environment within the region. DIFC also provides an attractive environment for captive insurance companies, with regulations that permit single parent, association and group captives.
Payments has been at the forefront of FinTech innovation and remains one of the most important financial activities in the context of the Future of Finance. DIFC is the first and only financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region to enact comprehensive money services regulations including providing money services and arranging and advising money services activities.
The money services regime is based on international standards and enables global and regional Payments FinTech to establish their regional hub in the DIFC. Clients offering money services follow stringent ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) requirements, however benefit from the most proven supporting laws and regulations. Dubai offers access to the largest pool of potential corporate and individual clients in the UAE.
Given the high number of start-ups and entrepreneurs based in DIFC, it’s natural that potential investors are an integral part of the DIFC ecosystem. Venture capital firms benefit from low fees and shorter application approval timescales. They can base themselves within the DIFC Innovation Hub so they can network and build relationships with start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs.
Corporate and Professional Services
DIFC is the leading place in the MEASA region that supports conglomerates and multi-faceted businesses by providing management offices, holding companies, proprietary companies, prescribed companies and single-family offices. These services are used by financial and non-financial companies to manage their assets efficiently and centralise some of their resources. In turn, this helps reduce costs and increase profitability.
ICT & eCommerce
DIFC continues to prioritise digital adoption and transformation to enhance connectivity and accessibility in and around the financial hub. Connectivity is the key to every aspect of infrastructure development in the DIFC – we connect our community, physically and digitally, in the same way we connect the various facets of a financial ecosystem. With the rapidly evolving demands of professionals based in and visitors to the Centre, it’s our responsibility to ensure we are offering the latest technological services. DIFC’s commitment to digital adoption will allow the Centre to expand and diversify, supporting Dubai's mission to become a major economic force in the Middle East.