DIFC Widely Recognised by US Firms as the Ideal Platform to Access the Region's Economies DIFC concludes roadshow to the United States



Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial and business hub connecting the region’s growth markets with the markets of Europe, Asia and the Americas, has concluded a road show to the United States led by DIFC Authority’s CEO, Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, and Managing Director - Business Development, Kevin Birkett.

DIFC’s delegation hosted a series of meetings in several U.S. cities namely San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and New York with existing and prospective clients across a wide range of businesses in the financial services sector, including investment banks, asset management firms, insurance companies and private equity firms.

Commenting on the trip Mr. Al Awar said:“It’s clear that we have succeeded to enhance our position as the ideal platform for American Financial Services firms to fuel their growth in the vast economies of our region. This is attributable to the robust reputation DIFC has among its existing US clients, and reflects the business growth they’re experiencing within the centre, which is supported by the world-class infrastructure provided by DIFC and Dubai.”

DIFC is currently home to numerous leading US firms providing a variety of services. Those include top American banks and financial institutions; insurance companies and legal firms.

Kevin Birkett, Managing Director - Business Development, DIFC Authority, said: “American firms were among the first to establish regional headquarters in DIFC back in 2004. Looking at regulated firms in DIFC today, US companies constitute about 15% of our client base, occupy around 20% of the space and employ around 9% of the total workforce. However, there is still a lot of growth potential from US markets, particularly from the West Coast states. We have received excellent feedback from our existing US clients, whose DIFC businesses are witnessing strong growth. We also had positive discussions with prospective clients, which we expect would lead to more US financial services firms establishing a presence in DIFC over the coming months.”

As part of the trip, Abdulla Al Awar participated as a panellist in Milken Institute’s Global Conference, where he spoke about the changing face of the Middle East and the inevitable long-term benefits for investors who recognise the opportunity and take part in the high-growth regional sectors.

In 2011, total trade volume between the UAE and the US rose to US$18.3 billion, a 43 per cent rise on the previous year, and the highest trade volume yet between the two countries. US imports from the UAE also doubled last year to $2.4bn. Currently, there are more than 30,000 Americans living and working in the UAE, which is also a base for over 750 US firms.

As part of an international business development strategy, DIFC has embarked on an extensive roadshow plan, promoting the long-term opportunities that the region offers and the benefits of using DIFC as a base.

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