Dubai International Financial Center is Positioning Dubai at the Center of Global Financial Innovation
- Dubai International Finance Center is a community of 473 registered companies including 17 of the 20 largest global banks in the world
- By providing a fast track for innovative FinTech in the region, DFSA is solidifying Dubai’s emerging status as a global technology and finance hub
Tahseen Consulting’s Wes Schwalje recently sat down with Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing to discuss the emerging role Dubai International Financial Center in solidifying Dubai’s position as a global finance innovation hub. You can find the interview here.
Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing: What are the benefits of businesses which sign up to DIFC?
Dubai is the undisputed financial center of the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia – a region of 72 countries with a combined GDP of $7.5 billion and approximately 3 billion youthful, digitally minded, financially aware consumers.
Schwalje: Often it is these headline numbers which first gets the attention of businesses, but, once businesses base their operations in Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), they discover a whole host of other reasons to stay: its tax efficient jurisdiction, no repatriation or ownership restrictions, and a legislative system based on international law administered by an independent judicial system. However, what really distinguishes DIFC is the focus on financial innovation and what’s next by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the regulatory agency which licenses and regulates the activities of DIFC community members.
DFSA is a global model for how governments and regulators should respond to technological disruption in the financial services industry.
By providing a fast track for innovative FinTech in the region, in addition to reinforcing its position as a global financial center, DFSA is solidifying Dubai’s emerging status as a global technology hub. DFSA’s eye on the future is behind its aspiration to grow the DIFC community to 1,000 companies with a workforce of 50,000 by 2024.
Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing: Why has DIFC been such a success?
Schwalje: The finance industry likes to talk about prudent risk, but Dubai is not just focused on prudent risk in its financial system but also prudent innovation. And this focus on the future, in addition to the sizable unmet regional demand for financial services, is what attracts financial services firms to Dubai and keeps them here.
Dubai is not just a destination for global business – it is a mindset that is strongly rooted in making the impossible possible, policy experimentation, and principled disruption.
And it works - Dubai International Finance Center is a community of 473 registered companies employing over 20,000 financial services professionals including 17 of the 20 largest global banks in the world and 13 of the top 20 leading global asset managers.
In addition to the Dubai Government’s strong focus on financial sector development, DIFC’s success would not have been possible without the broader focus of the federal and Dubai Government on improving the business enabling environment, enhancing the education system, sensible labor market reforms, and the careful cultivation of the city brand of Dubai. DIFC’s success in positioning Dubai as a global financial hub is part of the larger success of Dubai in establishing itself as a global tourism, technology, and business destination of choice to the world.