Oversees operational management and administration of the DIFC
The DIFC Authority is the management body established to oversee the strategic development, operational management and administration of Dubai International Financial Centre. The Authority’s four-tiered management strategy aims to: contribute to Dubai’s reputation as a global business hub by maintaining international standards; provide a world-class physical, legal and regulatory infrastructure; ensure the financial sustainability of DIFC and the companies established in the centre; and support client growth through authority business process streamlining, service improvement, and enhanced management structures.
MESSAGE FROM THE CEO
In his capacity as Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, Arif Amiri oversees the strategic and operational functions of the Centre. Under his leadership, DIFC has grown substantially and set out an ambitious 2024 Strategy, which will see it further enhance its position as the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.
Mr. Amiri’s vision for DIFC reflects the UAE’s commitment to innovation and economic diversification. As part of this vision, DIFC is further developing its FinTech proposition and leading a number of initiatives to move the innovation agenda towards a broader conversation about the future of finance.
Before joining DIFC Authority, Mr. Amiri held a number of positions at Emaar Properties PJSC, one of the UAE’s most respected companies. As Chief Commercial Officer, he drove the all-round commercial operations of the company and grew their portfolio significantly throughout his tenure. Previously, Mr. Amiri was Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Retail, where he provided strategic and tactical leadership for the retail and entertainment operations of Emaar across Dubai and other key emerging markets.
Mr. Amiri’s career began with an eight-year term at HSBC Bank Middle East, where he was responsible for the implementation of a number of corporate and institutional banking initiatives. During this time, he established an in-depth understanding of the financial services sector, which continues to serve as a solid foundation for his role today.
From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Amiri was the Chairman of the Middle East Investor Relations Society. Underlining his significant contribution to the region’s retail sector, Mr. Amiri received the Honorary Award at the Retail City Awards in 2011, and the Retail Leadership Award at the 2012 Asian Leadership awards.
Mr. Amiri holds a Post-Graduate Executive Diploma in Organisation Behaviour and Marketing Strategy from the University of Cambridge, Dubai, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Business Administration from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.
In his capacity as Chief Executive Officer, Arif Amiri is responsible for overseeing the strategic and operational functions of the Authority, in line with DIFC's 2024 Strategy, and maintaining the Centre's position as one of the most significant and advanced financial centres across the globe.
Prior to joining DIFC Authority, Mr. Amiri held a number of positions within Emaar Properties PJSC, including Chief Commercial Officer, where he was responsible for driving the all-round commercial operations of the company. Before this, Mr. Amiri was also Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Retail, where he provided strategic and tactical leadership for the retail and entertainment operations of Emaar across Dubai and other key emerging markets.
Mr. Amiri's career began with an eight year term at HSBC Bank Middle East, where he was responsible for the implementation of a number of corporate and institutional banking initiatives. During this time, he established an in-depth understanding of the financial services sector, which continues to serve as a solid foundation for his role today.
To his credit, Mr. Amiri was appointed as the Chairman of the Middle East Investor Relations Society from 2008 to 2011. Underlining his significant contribution to the region's retail sector, Mr. Amiri received the Honorary Award at the Retail City Awards in 2011. He further won the Retail Leadership Award at the 2012 Asian Leadership awards.
Mr. Amiri holds a Post-Graduate Executive Diploma in Organisation Behaviour and Marketing Strategy from the University of Cambridge, Dubai, as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Business Administration from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.
Yazan Mohamad Al Nasser
In his capacity as Chief Financial Officer, Yazan Mohamad Al Nasser overlooks the overall financial performance of DIFC Authority, DIFC Investments LLC and its subsidiary, Registrar of Real Properties, Registrar of Companies, Hawkamah and other entities. He is responsible for the formulation and review of key financial controls, business processes and management reporting, the appraisal of management and investment opportunities and supporting the CEOs and the Board of Directors.
Mr. Al Nasser has over 30 years of international experience in the fields of finance and audit. Prior to joining DIFC, he worked with Emaar Malls PJSC, where as Chief Financial Officer he was responsible for a portfolio of more than 25 different shopping malls and community centres, accommodating over 2,000 tenants.
Before this, Mr. Al Nasser worked at Emaar Properties PJSC for more than seven years, where he held the position of Director of Internal Audit. He was one of Emaar Malls PJSC core Management team which successfully completed a well received and oversubscribed IPO transaction to list Emaar Malls in 2014.
In his professional career, Mr. Al Nasser has also served as senior staff at Majid Al Futtaim’s Internal Audit Department, as well as in the Audit and Oversight Office at the United Nations (UNRWA) in Vienna, Austria.
Mr. Al Nasser holds a dual Bachelor Degree in Economics and Administrative Sciences and Computer Programming from Yarmouk University in Jordan. In addition, Mr. Al Nasser is also a Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Internal Control Auditor, and is Certified in Risk and Information System Control.
In his capacity as Chief Business Development Officer, Salmaan Jaffery is responsible for developing and executing business strategies aligned with the DIFC's 2024 growth ambitions. The business development team, under Mr. Jaffery's direction, identifies and evaluates potential partnership opportunities that serve business and client growth within the DIFC community.
Mr. Jaffery has 20 years of extensive operating and advisory experience working with global financial services and consulting firms across the Middle East & North Africa, Asia and North America. During this time, he has established a track record for earning trust and delivering value to clients by developing new revenue opportunities, improving performance and driving organisational change. Mr. Jaffery has cultivated a vast network of peer and C-Suite relationships and is an accomplished thought leader in customer centricity and Islamic finance.
Before joining the DIFC Authority, Mr. Jaffery held leadership roles in Conventional & Islamic Finance at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young Middle East. Prior to that, he held operating and finance roles at Citibank and American Express in New York. Mr. Jaffery has also led client teams at Oliver Wyman focused on customer driven growth strategies and new venture analyses.
Mr. Jaffery holds an MBA from Cornell University and a BA in International Relations (Phi Beta Kappa) from Colgate University in the United States. He is President of the Cornell University and Johnson School Clubs, Middle East and serves on the Boards of several non-profit organisations.
Jacques Visser heads the Legal Affairs division of the DIFC Authority. In addition, he holds the position of Secretary to the DIFC Higher Board and the Boards of the DIFC Authority and DIFC Investments LLC. Mr. Visser also currently serves as DIFC’s Security Registrar and Commissioner of Data Protection.
With over 20 years of experience as a financial services lawyer, Mr. Visser’s expertise lie in multi-jurisdictional investment structures, funds, asset management and regulatory matters in emerging markets, as well as investment strategies and related M&A transactions. During his expansive career, he has established a number of landmark funds and investment structures relevant to the MENA region.
In his previous role, Mr. Visser worked as National Partner at Dechert LLP in Dubai. During his tenure at Dechert LLP, The Legal 500, an international guide to top-tier legal firms and practitioners, listed him as one of the top three most notable lawyers in the UAE investment funds industry, while MENA Fund Manager recognised him as one of the 50 most influential individuals in the industry in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Prior to Dechert, Mr. Visser ran his own consultancy firm, where he focused on advising a number of emerging and frontier market investment boutiques. He was also a founding partner and Managing Director of DIFC-based firm Algebra Capital, which was sold to Franklin Templeton Investments in 2011. Following the acquisition, Mr. Visser served as the Executive Managing Director and supervised the merger of the two firms.
He has in the past, and continues to serve outside the UAE, as a board member and advisory board member of funds, financial institutions and a technology startup.
Mr. Visser holds a Master’s degree in Banking and Capital Markets Law (LLM) from the University of Johannesburg, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Competition Law from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree from the same university.
In her role as Executive Vice President of Operations, Alya Al Zarouni oversees a number of internal functions, including Information Technology, Procurement, Administration, Corporate Development, Government Relations, Government and Registry Services. Her prime objective is to ensure DIFC Authority’s internal operations are well aligned to support the delivery of the 2024 Strategy and objectives.
Prior to this role, Ms. Al Zarouni held the position of Senior Vice President – Operations at DIFC Authority, and before that was Senior Vice President - Government & Registry Services for five years. In this capacity, she was responsible for driving the strategic direction across the organisations Government Services, Registrar of Companies and Registrar of Properties offices.
Before this, Ms. Al Zarouni worked with the Programme Management Office at DIFC Authority, where she rose from Assistant Manager to Director of Government Services Office. During her tenure, she partly managed and assisted project managers in handling a number of complex projects in the Centre.
Ms. Al Zarouni earned both her BSc in Computer Science and MBA from the American University of Sharjah. She is a PMI Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), an LRQA certified ISO 9000:2000 Series Auditor/ Lead, and an LRQA Certified Internal QMS Auditor. Ms. Al Zarouni has also successfully completed the Young Leaders Program from the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development.
Raja Al Mazrouei
As Executive Vice President of FinTech Hive at DIFC, Raja Al Mazrouei oversees the region’s first FinTech accelerator, which brings together Financial Institutions, Government entities, technology partners and entrepreneurs to develop technologies that benefit the financial industry. Ms. Al Mazrouei plays an integral role in building awareness, increasing media outreach and facilitating partnerships in emerging FinTech markets, such as China, India, the UK, the US and Africa, with the aim of positioning DIFC as the region’s leading innovation destination for FinTech.
Prior her current role, Ms. Al Mazrouei was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communication at DIFC, where she oversaw the public relations, institutional partnerships, branding and digital marketing functions for the Centre on a regional and global scale. Previously, she held the position of Commissioner of Data Protection at DIFC, in addition to key roles as Head of Operations and Head of Information Technology at DIFC Authority. Earlier in her career, she served as Head of Information Technology at National Bonds Corporation, Director of IT Relationship Management at Dubai Holding and Systems Development Supervisor at Higher Colleges of Technology.
Ms. Al Mazrouei is an executive graduate from Harvard Business School; she holds an MBA in Global Leadership and Management from the United Arab Emirates University and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Information Technology from the Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE. She is also a member of the Harvard Business School MENA and Central Asia Advisory Board based in Boston and is the Vice President of Harvard Business School Club for the GCC.
Madeya Al Ajtabi
In her capacity as Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Madeya AlKtebi works with the business leaders at the DIFC to realise the plans and aspirations of the Centre by leading the development of HR strategy and planning in line with its business goals. Her other key focus areas include ensuring timely availability of the required talent, promoting an enabling and engaging work culture, and creating an agile and aligned leadership team.
Ms. AlKtebi is responsible for the entire spectrum of HR services. She serves as the interface and guide for all HR-related matters, helping DIFC to leverage its human resources in an optimal manner and acting as a strategic partner of the business. In addition, she provides effective HR operational and transactional services, devising and implementing practical and efficient processes tailored to the company’s unique and evolving business needs.
Ms. AlKtebi brings to her role over 11 years of experience in strategic business planning, organisational development and performance management in the UAE. She is also well-versed in facilitating rigorous team training and driving targeted recruitment initiatives.
Prior to her current position, Ms. AlKtebi rose through the ranks at DIFC from HR Business Partner to Vice President and Acting Head of Human Resources. She started her career as HR Officer at Dubai Customs.
Madeya AlKtebi holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Management and a higher diploma in Information Administration from Dubai Women’s College at the Higher Colleges of Technology.
In his role as Vice President of Internal Audit at DIFC Authority, Mohammed Beelall Ramdianee is responsible for managing all internal audit activities and accomplishing an independent, objective, cost effective and efficient internal audit function.
He is mandated by the DIFC Authority’s Board Audit Committee to undertake assurance and consulting activities in order to add value and enhance DIFC Authority’s operations.
Mr. Ramdianee brings to DIFC a wealth of international experience spanning more than 25 years in audit, accountancy, risk identification & management and consulting fields across various sectors, including but not limited to education, real estate, hospitality and retail. His expertise include performing traditional risk-based internal audits, as well as undertaking advanced specialised reviews in the areas of governance, strategy, compliance and process maturity assessments.
Prior to joining DIFC, Mr. Ramdianee served as Senior Audit Manager at Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), where he conducted risk assessments, developed risk-based internal audit plans, and led the implementation of audit plans.
In an earlier role, he worked as Senior Audit Manager for Group Internal Audit at Dubai World where, in addition to his core audit activities, he spearheaded the implementation of Quality Management System which eventually resulted in the Group Internal Audit achieving the ISO 9001-Quality Management System accreditation. He has also worked as Audit Manager at DCDM, a leading audit firm in Mauritius, where he was in charge of financial audit assignments locally as well as in various African countries.
Mr. Ramdianee holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from The University of Manchester. He is a Fellow Member of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA) as well as a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).
As Vice President and Acting Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications, Marcus Bailey is responsible for driving brand awareness and consideration with prospects, clients, influencers and the community. He leads a team which is responsible for public relations, communications, brand, marketing, digital and social media, institutional partnerships and CSR.
He plays an integral role in the delivery of the organisation’s 2024 Strategy by driving marketing activities that demonstrate DIFC’s continued growth story, as well as promote its property development projects to ensure the district is positioned as a leading destination in Dubai.
Bringing over 20 years of experience to his current role, Mr. Bailey was previously Regional Head of Corporate Affairs and Brand & Marketing for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered Bank. Before this, he served as Chief Operating Officer and Regional Head of MENAP and Corporate Affairs for the organisation. Prior to this, he held several positions within the Marketing team at Lloyd’s Bank.
Mr. Bailey holds a Master of Science in Marketing from the University of South Wales and a Post Graduate diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.