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Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC is an urban landmark where individuals and corporations come to advance their business, engage with the community and enjoy the energy of the central business district. Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC is an onshore financial centre strategically located between the east and west, which provides a secure and efficient platform for business and financial institutions to reach into and out of the emerging markets of the region. The quality and range of DIFC’s independent regulation, common law framework, supportive infrastructure and its tax-friendly regime make it the perfect base to take advantage of the region’s rapidly growing demand for financial and business services.
Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC fills the time-zone gap for a global financial centre between the leading financial centres of London and New York in the west and Hong Kong and Tokyo in the east. Guided by its core values of integrity, transparency and efficiency, Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC is playing a pivotal role in meeting the growing financial needs of the region.
At the heart of the DIFC model is an independent risk-based regulator, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which grants licenses and regulates the activities of all banking and financial institutions in DIFC. The regulatory body was created using principle-based primary legislation modelled closely on that used in London and New York. The DFSA has played a major role in providing financial companies the confidence that they have a sound, stable, secure and growth-oriented platform for their business.
Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC is unique in that it has a legislative system consistent with English Common law. Given its construct, DIFC has its own set of civil and commercial laws and regulations and has developed a complete code of law governing financial services regulation. As part of its autonomy, DIFC has created an independent judicial system. The DIFC Courts is the entity responsible for the independent administration and enforcement of justice in DIFC. The Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over all civil and commercial disputes arising within DIFC and or relating to bodies and companies registered in Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC.
– Platform to access regional wealth and investment opportunities
– 100 percent foreign ownership
– Zero percent tax rate on income and profits (guaranteed for a period of 50 years)
– A wide network of double taxation treaties available to UAE incorporated entities
– No exchange controls (free capital convertibility)
– High standards of laws, rules and regulations
– International legal system based on Common Law of England & Wales
A wholly transparent operating environment, complying with global best practices, and internationally accepted laws and regulatory processes
– A variety of legal vehicles that can be established with capital structuring flexibility
– Access to a large pool of skilled professionals residing in Dubai and the region
– A modern transport, communications and internet infrastructure
– A responsive one-stop shop service for visas, work permits and other related requirements
– An independent common law judicial system
DIFC has been designed as a ‘city within a city’ that provides a complete range of business and lifestyle facilities for today’s professionals. The infrastructure within the financial district features:
– Ultra-modern office space
– Retail outlets
– Art galleries
– Residential apartments
DIFC is today the largest cluster for international financial services between Singapore and Europe.
The business and financial services community in DIFC represents a wide cross section of the world’s leading players. Many of which have chosen the centre as the base for their regional headquarters.
The geographic diversity of the Centre’s total number of regulated companies reaffirms DIFC’s growing status as a global financial centre catering to the region. Approximately 36% of regulated companies come from Europe, 27% from the Middle East, 16% from North America, 11% from Asia, and 10% from the rest of the world. Since its establishment, DIFC has grown not just in size but also in the sophistication and depth of financial activity carried out from the Centre. Innovative legislative initiatives that addressed specific industry needs and the growing requirements of financial services across the region were key drivers of growth.
– 21 of the world’s top 25 banks
– 11 of the world’s top 20 largest money managers
– 6 of the world’s 10 largest insurance companies
– 6 of the top 10 global law firms
Financial Services Institutions
Access a dynamic and growing region from a modern and secure banking environment. Attracted to the region by its growing wealth, cross-boarder trade and investment activity, M&A activity and ongoing restructuring by state owned enterprises, corporations and private entities, a large number of banks and brokerages have established a presence in DIFC.
From DIFC, investment banks are able to service the region’s growing financing needs and support growing sophistication of businesses operating in and from around the region. Recent years have seen the expansion of the corporate sector with more sophisticated financing requirements.
Regional debt capital markets are also picking up as governments and corporates across the region diversify their funding bases they will need to resort more and more to capital markets to tap into private financing.
Our legislative and regulatory regime has created a highly conducive and secure environment for the growth of banks offering a wealth of services, including: Commercial banking, Investment banking, Trade and export finance, Project and infrastructure funding, Treasury services and Correspondent banking.
DIFC endeavors to promote the development of a thriving regional insurance market. Global and regional insurers, reinsurers and brokers are attracted to set up in the centre due to its world-class infrastructure, legislation and regulation. In many cases, international players tie up with regional firms to establish a new entity to cater to the region’s demand for insurance and reinsurance services.
With the growing presence of regional and international players, the insurance penetration in the market has grown, outpacing that of industrialised countries.
In view of the notable rapid development of Takaful, Islamic insurance and reinsurance, over the recent years, firms are eager to establish in the centre to meet the needs of the Islamic market.
An important facet of the Insurance sector is Captives, which is rapidly gaining appeal in the region. With the economic development, growing industrialisation, rapid growth of international trade, international mergers and acquisitions, improved regulation and increased focus on corporate governance, the region is witnessing a change of attitude towards corporate risk management, and a growing awareness of the need for innovative ways to finance the future cost of corporate risk.
For firms looking to finance and manage corporate risk, DIFC’s regulatory framework, coupled with its favourable tax environment, offers a convenient platform for the establishment of captive insurance companies. Furthermore, the flexibility of the DFSA in providing the regulation of Protected Cell Companies positions the DIFC among the most forward-looking financial centres.
The region has witnessed a growing demand for professional service firms driven by greater sophistication in financial services requiring specialist advisory work, increased cross-jurisdictional trade and transactions, and the ongoing restructuring by state owned enterprises, corporations and private entities.
Through its offering of world-class technology and associated infrastructure, a pool of multilingual highly skilled professionals, DIFC has attracted a wide range of professional service providers including: Legal, Accounting and audit, Consulting, Compliance, Recruitment, Risk management, Data and research providers
By locating in DIFC, firms are able to centralise and consolidate their resources used to service the region, thereby gaining a competitive cost of operation. In addition to the growing regional opportunity, professional service firms may benefit from the large business and financial captive clientele already located within the centre – making DIFC your logical home. The expertise of the world’s major international professional service firms is an important pillar establishing DIFC as a world-class international financial centre.
WEALTH MANAGEMENT COMPANIES
The region benefits from a vast pool of wealth and a growing appetite for specialist investment products. There is also an increasing demand from high net worth individuals for tailor made solutions which meet their specific and individual wealth management requirements.
Our legislative and regulatory regime has created a highly supportive and secure environment for the growth of the funds industry. In compliance with IOSCO Principles, the Funds Regime allows for the domiciliation, management and distribution of funds from DIFC.
The vast scope for investing, managing and administering this enormous wealth has encouraged many of the world’s biggest asset managers, hedge funds and private equity firms to set up within DIFC and take advantage of the ability to: Manufacture and distribute tailor-made mandates and specialist investment products; Manage the world’s largest concentration of Islamic wealth ; Offer advanced asset management products for institutional investors including the region’s large sovereign wealth funds; Access investment opportunities across the region and gaining exposure to rapidly growing emerging markets and Tap into the regions vast pool of wealth for fund raising and seed capital
DIFC’s attractive legal framework and tax offering has attracted a range of management offices, including:
Holding Companies, Proprietary Investments Offices, Single Family Offices and Marketing Operations.
Operating a management office in DIFC provides access to a variety of professional services from one location, such as: wealth and asset managers, private bankers, legal firms, accounting companies, recruitment companies, consultants, corporate governance experts, international tax advisers, captive insurers and experts on Islamic finance, as well as access to capital markets and corporate financiers.
Single Family Offices (SFOs) have additional benefit from a confidential yet transparent regulatory framework that excludes them from many of the regulatory constraints placed on conventional organisations in the centre, and is the first in the world to define a family office in legal terms. These regulations, combined with estate and succession planning advisers, corporate governance experts and other available professional services, make DIFC an ideal jurisdiction for family offices.
DIFC has a sizeable number of multinational corporations and regional conglomerates which are utilising the DIFC to base a head or regional office where centralised strategic leadership and global management of their business activities takes place. DIFC’s attractive legal framework and tax offering, in combination with UAE’s wide network of DTAs, has enabled many of these players to optimise the tax impact on their global business and benefit from booking revenues in the centre. Companies are also using DIFC to run treasury operations including forex hedging and liquidity management, as well as a platform for shared services centres for group companies and business units.
Companies based at DIFC are served by a range of international banking facilities and world-class professional services providers, including top global legal firms, accounting firms, consultants, recruitment firms and tax advisers. Companies include Fortune 500 and leading players in the financial services, oil & gas, telecommunication, consumer goods, business services, capital goods and materials sector.
Traditionally, companies, governments and financial institutions have looked to the international capital markets to meet their financing needs. However, with the advent of the regional stock markets, there has been an increasing flow of IPOs and listings on the regional exchanges. At the same time, regional investors have required liquid and efficient markets to absorb the rapidly growing stock of financial assets accumulating in pensions, life funds, collective investment schemes and other savings vehicles.
DIFC is a platform for investment banks & financial intermediaries to service the capital markets of the region with: Underwriting, M&A advisory, Venture capital, Private equity, Private banking, Trade finance and Brokerage service.
DIFC is home to NASDAQ Dubai (formerly the Dubai International Financial Exchange) which lists equities, equity derivatives, structured products, sukuk (Islamic bonds) and conventional bonds. Through the exchange, regional and international issuers can access regional and international liquidity. International issuers can access capital from the region, through a primary or dual listing.
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Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC Authority Dubai. DIFC Profile, Contact Details, Location Map, List of Companies in DIFC, Jobs, Careers, Restaurants, Courts & Business Setup Information Guide.
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