Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)

Islamic Finance

The global Islamic finance industry is worth approximately US$ 2 trillion across the fields of banking, wealth and asset management, takaful, capital markets, and emerging areas such as FinTech.

Most of this activity is taking place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, Malaysia and Indonesia. This broad geography is ideally served from DIFC.

As this market develops, DIFC provides a particularly effective platform to capture these opportunities. The Centre offers a regulated environment with a regime specifically designed to support both Islamic financial services firms and conventional firms operating Shari’a-compliant windows.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) manages the Islamic Finance Regulatory Regime. This regime requires firms to have a Shari’a Supervisory Board comprised of at least three competent scholars. It also ensures firms comply with the standards and principles of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB).

Islamic financial services firms also benefit from DIFC’s cooperation with the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, which is working to realise Dubai’s vision to be at the centre of the global Islamic economy. Through joint projects and initiatives, DIFC ensures that firms in the centre are in touch with opportunities and developments in the global Islamic finance sector.

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Advantages of setting up in DIFC

DIFC is the unrivalled financial hub of the region with an established and tested legal and regulatory framework. Safe and stable, Dubai is a global city and business, trade and tourism centre that’s fully connected to regional and global markets.

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Specialised regulations and endorsements for Islamic finance operations

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Ideal ecosystem for ongoing development of Shari’a-compliant products and services

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Located in the heart of the Islamic world

Legal and Regulatory Framework

Although operating independently, the DIFC Authority, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Dispute Resolution Authority (DRA) serve a common goal: reinforcing DIFC’s principles of integrity, transparency and efficiency.

The DIFC Authority is responsible for the guiding strategy, ongoing development and overall public administration of DIFC. The DFSA is the globally recognised independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from DIFC. The DRA provides an English-language, commercial common law judicial system, as well as a dispute resolution platform, and other services to deliver legal excellence in the Middle East.

Register in Three Steps

Simple and straightforward licensing, registration and regulation, makes setting up and operating in DIFC fast and efficient.

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Discuss your proposed Islamic finance activities with DFSA and DIFC service advisors

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Submit application documents

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Receive approvals for licenses, visas and consent notifications

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