When the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) was first established in 2004, it started off with only nineteen companies and seventy-five people. Thirteen years later, it has grown to become home to 1,750 companies and 21,628 professionals.
This is far from the peak of its growth — now, DIFC aims to triple in size and rank within the top five financial centres globally by the year 2024. Let’s stay up-to-date by taking a quick look at the steps they’ve taken to achieve that vision.
Emirates Business Park
The park is a mixed-use $5bn project with four high-rise towers and a number of other buildings. Its project is a collaboration between Dubai Holding and DIFC, with Tecom group subsidiary to develop it. Tenants can easily access the financial centre via a footbridge, and firms within the Emirates Business Park will benefit from DIFC’s legal and regulatory status.
Construction is due to start towards the end of 2017, with completion expected within four years. The new business park will offer premium office space and contain three five-stars, new food and beverage units, and a space dedicated to hosting events and other functions.
The presence of the Park is expected to relieve demand pressure on core DIFC office space.
The Lifestyle Destination
DIFC’s much-anticipated Gate Avenue is due for completion sometime during the first half of 2018. It will link the Gate and Village districts in the north of DIFC to the residential and commercial developments in the South. More than 200 restaurants and shops will be installed, as well as a modern mosque. The easy access to both a wide variety of facilities and to every building within the district is expected to build on the Centre’s status as a leading financial hub, and make it into a world-class business and lifestyle destination as well.
This aims to benefit both commercial occupiers and residential occupants — commercial occupiers because of the heightened demand, and residential occupants because of the connectivity and community.
DIFC also plans on becoming a hub for art and culture by holding events along the parkways at the podium level of the Gate.
The emphasis on developing professional talent
DIFC offers more than a hundred workshops and seminars yearly for its growing community of 21,000 professionals, as well as world-class professional development and higher learning courses.
‘The Academy,’ a state-of-the-art educational facility for business and financial services through partnerships with business schools from around the world, was recently launched as part of the advocacy to train their professionals and to become a powerhouse of knowledge and talent.
The Fintech Hive
The FinTech Hive is an accelerator programme that gives eleven hand-picked finalists the opportunity to interact with technology leaders and entrepreneurs, as well as with leading regional and international financial institutions, to find solutions that will address the needs of the region’s financial services industry.
Last 2017, the finalists present the results of their twelve-week program on November 12. The winner gets the opportunity to showcase their solution at the Investor Day Networking Event.
The New Trust Law Regime and New Foundation Law Regime
DIFC has proposed a new trust law regime and a new foundation law regime designed to develop the operating environment for private wealth management as well as succession planning platforms in ways that are both conventional and Sharia-compliant.
DIFC’s Wealth Management Working Group also recommended the establishment of the DIFC’s Family Business Center. It will help support and service regional as well as international family offices seeking to relocate their private wealth and succession planning structures to the centre.
The DIFC Authority’s Legislative Committee is open to comments and suggestions from the public on the newly proposed laws. The proposed Trust Law regime and Foundation Law regime has been posted for a 30-day public consultation period. The deadline for providing comments ending on 8 November 2017.
Here is a copy of the consultation papers.
The Global Financial Forum
Image credit: zawya.com
This November, DIFC will organize the inaugural Global Financial Forum (GFF). This is an exclusive gathering of invited speakers and delegates who will convene to discuss the threats that emerging markets face in the modern age.
In line with the Forum’s focus on formulating the region’s plans to respond to global industry shifts, as well as to analyze the state of global and regional finance, the theme is Navigating the New Order.
The effort put into the DIFC’s holistic development can be seen when one strolls through the area and sees concrete blocks turn into skyscrapers, dirt roads into asphalt, and dry sand into lush greens. DIFC’s desire to be a hub not just for finance but also for education, culture, arts, and residence is well-manifested in their actions. This, as well as its capability to evolve and adapt to changing trends, solidifies its position as one of Dubai’s strongest assets.
Find out more about this growing hub on their Twitter account: