• difc


  • Home > Local Talent

In line with the UAE’s vision to harness the full potential of human capital, DIFC is supporting local talent and SMEs by providing a platform to help grow their business in a first-of-its-kind urban living development. As part of the Design Emporium in the soon-to-launch Gate Avenue at DIFC, home-grown entrepreneurs will be able to showcase their concepts in a collective retail space with reduced business set-up fees and discounted rental costs for the first three years.


Harnessing Talent Eligibility


  • UAE Nationals and residents 
  • Entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs
  • Fashion, homeware, jewelry and lifestyle concepts 

Areas of particular interest to us

  • Fashion
  • Homeware
  • Jewellery
  • Lifestyle

Applications are now closed

Applications for DIFC’s ‘Harnessing Local Talent’ competition are now closed. If you are interested in opening an outlet in Gate Avenue at DIFC, the dynamic retail destination that will connect every aspect of the financial district, please complete the form below. A member of our retail team will get in touch with you to assist you with your request. 


Terms & Conditions


Gate Avenue will open in the first half of 2018, with the official public launch set to take place in the second half of the year.

The retail spaces will be allocated to the winners by May 2018.

For kiosks located outside the Design Emporium, DIFC will provide a dedicated space – the retailer will be responsible for all other fit-outs. For tenants based in the Design Emporium, DIFC will provide a basic start-up kit that will need to be branded and managed by each winning concept subject to approval.

Yes, the winners must cover their own overheads. 

The total overhead cost will be divided by the final number of winners sharing the space pro rata.

The Design Emporium will be located in Gate Avenue at DIFC. The total size of this space is subject to the concept.  

Winners will be given the opportunity to either set up a kiosk in the indoor public space or within the shared retail space of the Design Emporium.

DIFC will announce the winners through its PR and social media channels, as well as any updates throughout the tenancy of the selected concepts. We will also maintain a website that includes up-to-date information about each retailer.

There is no minimum commitment.  The 50% discount rate will apply to a maximum lease period of three years.  

This will depend on the results of the competition and the space requirements of each concept. We are aiming for between 5-6 concepts, however this will be confirmed once the competition is closed. 

F&B concepts will not accepted for this initiative due to the fit out and health and safety requirements. For further information on space for F&B, please contact our retail team by phone or email retail@difc.com or +971 3622 447

This is subject to the leasing contract.

Following the three year period, retailers may request a permanent space within Gate Avenue at DIFC. The DIFC Retail Team will be able to provide recommendations based on your requirements and the availability of space.

Gate Avenue at DIFC will be open from 10:00am to 10:00pm daily. The Promenade will be accessible 24 hours a day, however the retail outlets will only be open during operational hours.

No, there is no such requirement for the first year.

Gate Avenue at DIFC

Gate Avenue at DIFC offers a dynamic lifestyle epicentre that truly connects every aspect of the financial district. Comprised of more than 200 prime retail locations with a built up area (BUA) of 660,000 square feet, the development is ushering in a new age of community innovation.

A smooth continuation of an established reputation, Gate Avenue at DIFC delivers integration by design combined with a luxurious communal journey for financial professionals, residents and visitors alike.

Explore Gate Avenue

Gate Avenue at DIFC