Corporates and Professional Services Providers

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Why DIFC is the ideal hub for Corporates and Professional Services Providers

Corporates and Professional Services Providers can access a large client’s base and benefit from DIFC’s legal and regulatory framework. DIFC’s ecosystem includes leading international banks, top wealth and asset managers, hedge funds, venture capital funds, private equity firms, family businesses, law firms, accounting firms, rating agencies, recruitment firms, consultants, corporate governance experts, international tax advisers, insurance and reinsurance companies, Islamic finance experts and capital market and corporate financiers. By establishing operations in DIFC, corporates can centralise and consolidate the resources used to service the region, thereby gaining a competitive cost of operation.

DIFC provides professional services providers with an opportunity to be part of a captive market of leading financial and non-financial firms. The Centre provides access to a growing community of more than 4,000 registered companies, with 1,124 financial and innovation-related entities.


Dubai is the chosen regional headquarters for 70% of Fortune 500 companies.




Global Entrepreneurship
Index (GEI)



Global Competitiveness
Index in MENA

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Global Innovation
Index in MENA

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Ease of Doing Business
Index in MENA


USD 8 Tr

Global Economic and
Trade Hub

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Political Stability
 and Absence of Violence
(ahead of the US and France)


Dubai is a stable, thriving and globally ranked talent hub


#22 (UAE)

Globally in INSEAD Global Talent Competitiveness Index


Globally in Mastercard Global Destination cities index 2019


Globally for best city for expats, after Miami & Lisbon



Why Corporates should establish a presence in DIFC?

Establishing a presence in DIFC allows firms across different sectors and industries to strategically and efficiently manage their businesses in a key MEASA hub and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Corporates may carry out any of these activities in DIFC:

Managing/Head Office  

  • An office that provides strategic leadership, oversight, management and administration of regional or international operations of its group entities, irrespective of their location or industry.
  • Can provide services strictly to its group, such as, but not limited to treasury, IT , administrative, intra group as well as corporate and advisory.

Holding Company  

  • An entity whose primary business is holding a controlling interest in the securities of other companies and enterprises.
  • A robust and efficient ownership structure for securities or other equity interests.

Proprietary Investments Activities  

  • Investments are not limited to a specific industry or geography and may be from the commercial, education, healthcare, industrial and oil & gas sectors.
  • Suitable for direct investments, acquisitions, joint ventures or partnerships.
  • Appropriate for investments in private equity, other alternative investment funds or assets.
  • This category does not permit the collection of funds from third parties.

Prescribed Company  

  • A vehicle that can be established by qualifying applicants and/or qualifying purpose.
  • Quick and easy registration process.
  • Low-cost setup.
  • Can use a DIFC corporate service provider’s address.
  • What can it be used for:
    • Risk mitigation
    • Ring-fence assets
    • Tax efficiency
    • Strategic structuring
    • Succession planning
    • Financing and securitisation


Professional Services Providers

There is a tremendous opportunity for professional services providers to benefit from the impressive growth of financial services activities, particularly in the hedge fund, private equity, and venture capital space.

As the financial hub for the MEASA region, DIFC offers these firms the ideal platform to serve this market, while also providing direct access to the region's largest concentration of local, regional and international clients.


Key professional services providers' activities in DIFC:

  • Accounting & Audit

  • Management & Strategy Consulting 

  • Legal & Compliance

  • Risk Management

  • Education & Training

  • Market Information & Research

  • Human Resources

  • Other Services


Reasons for setting up an office in DIFC

CSR Pillar

Access to talent pool

  • Dubai’s lifestyle and cosmopolitan nature have made it the destination of choice for skilled professionals aiming to pursue their career aspirations in a modern and safe environment.
  • More than 29,000 employees from 150 nationalities.
CSR Pillar

Tax-efficient operating environment

  • Globally competitive and attractive tax regime.
CSR Pillar

Flexible legal structures

  • 100% Foreign ownership with a range of options for structuring legal entities.
  • Zero restriction on capital repatriation.
  • No currency restrictions.
CSR Pillar

Robust legal and regulatory framework at par with global standards

  • Independent English-language common law judiciary administered by the DIFC courts.
  • Independent risk-based regulatory bodies (DFSA).
  • Leading data protection (GDPR-compliant) and IP laws.
CSR Pillar

Strategic location and access to regional and global markets

  • Bridging the time-zone gap between the leading financial centres of the East and West.
  • Strategic location, making markets of 2.5 billion people accessible.
  • Dubai provides access to 193 destinations across 92 countries.
CSR Pillar

World-class infrastructure

  • Located in the heart of Dubai with state-of-the-art infrastructure and amenities.



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