DIFC Governor and Lord Mayor of London Discuss New InitiativesPress Release26 Jan 2015 02:50 pm
Dubai – 26 January, 2015: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the City of London explored ways to extend the 10-year relationship between the two international financial centres during the visit to DIFC by the Right Honorable Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Alan Yarrow.
His Excellency Essa Kazim, DIFC Governor, and Arif Amiri, Deputy CEO of the DIFC Authority, welcomed the Lord Mayor and his accompanying delegation. During the visit, the officials discussed potential initiatives between the two centres that would leverage DIFC’s role as a platform for international firms — including those based in the City of London — to serve existing clients and develop new ones in the fast-growing Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.
The discussion also extended to efforts by the two centres to jointly support the expanding Islamic finance sector around the world — within the context of Dubai’s commitment to becoming the capital of the global Islamic economy. They also reviewed the complementary nature of the upcoming Abu Dhabi Global Market to the existing ecosystem at DIFC and how together the two financial free zones will confirm the UAE as a major force in international finance.
His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor, Dubai International Financial Centre said: “Since the launch of DIFC in 2004 and our first meeting that year with the City of London’s top officials, our two organisations have worked collaboratively and diligently to sign cooperative agreements and promote initiatives that have strengthened both centres and leveraged the benefits each side brings to financial firms operating on a global scale.”
Lord Mayor Alan Yarrow said: “The DIFC and City of London may have different histories as financial centres but we have a common bond in working towards sustainable economic growth. Key to this is the sharing of skills and experiences which is why my visit, joined by a number of businesses, will prove to be so useful. The growth of the DIFC over the past ten years has been enormous and the City of London will continue to support Dubai as their financial partner of choice.”
The Lord Mayor’s visit was the 13th for a sitting Lord Mayor, reflecting the bilateral commitment of both centres in building business opportunities for firms operating in the two cities. He was accompanied by City of London officials; UK government trade, finance and investment officials; and the UK’s consul general to Dubai.
The visit comes shortly after the close of DIFC’s 10th anniversary year, which also was one of its most successful. By the end of 2014, DIFC had more than 1,113 active registered firms and 16.560 people working in at the Centre. The past year also ended with the successful pricing of DIFC Investments’ US$ 700 million Sukuk, a Sharia-compliant bond that was marketed in London, as well as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore, and was more than four times oversubscribed.
In October 2014, Dubai was ranked fifth globally among international financial centres by The Banker, behind only London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong, while in September 2014, the Global Financial Centres Index named Dubai as one of 10 centres likely to become more significant.
DIFC continues to pursue expansion into new services and sectors within the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, an area comprising over 72 countries with an approximate population of 2.8 billion and nominal GDP of US$ 6.5 trillion. This expansion includes a particular focus on supporting the growing South-South trade and bridging the gulf between this trade and financial institutions in the West.