Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)

Non-Financial Business

Setting Up a Non-Financial Business in the DIFC

While the core business conducted in DIFC revolves around regulated activities in banking and finance, the world's most successful financial industry ecosystems incorporate a much broader base of economic activity. These include regulated professional services companies operating in areas such as law and accountancy, but also many other non-regulated and non-financial businesses.


Firms providing these non-financial goods and services perform two essential roles. First, they offer financial firms with the wide range of goods and services needed to operate efficiently and effectively. Examples include consultancy services in areas such as investor relations and human resources, or printing, courier and legal translation services.

Second, these non-financial goods and services businesses help create a leisure and lifestyle environment that today's finance professionals expect from leading international financial centres. Be it before, after or during work hours, these professionals require a wide range of goods and services. Examples include personal services such as tailors, salons and fitness gyms; retail shops offering jewellery, electronics and apparel; and a wide range of restaurants and cafes, from quick casual to fine dining. Non-financial activities also extend to specialised establishments such as hotels and academic institutions that further extend the breadth of opportunities on offer to professionals working at DIFC.

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Non-financial Activities Guides

The below non-financial activity guides are available to all entities and individuals, and their consultants and advisors, looking to establish operations in DIFC and are not subject to regulation by the Dubai Financial Services Authority.

The guides are also accessible to entities that are subject to the DIFC Companies Law and Partnerships Laws, or other relevant legislation. By providing specific descriptions of hundreds of recognised business activities, the various guides identify whether a proposed business activity can be registered and licensed in DIFC.

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