The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is Open For Business

Along with its announcement that the DIFC Financial Services Authority has issued the first licences to three financial institutions, the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority has confirmed that the DIFC is open for business. Julius Baer ( Middle East) Limited and Standard Chartered Bank have each received licences to operate as ‘authorised firms’ from within the DIFC. Additionally, The GCC Energy Fund Managers Limited, a regional integrated equity fund making investments across the energy sector within the Gulf Co-operation Council countries comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, also received a financial services licence. Other licences are in advanced stages of preparation with a view to their imminent issue.

David King, CEO of The DIFC Financial Services Authority, commented,

“International institutions will have the peace of mind of knowing that when they apply to locate in the DIFC, the regulations they hope to operate under are crystal clear, of world class quality and will be very familiar to them as they are based on best practice in London, Wall Street and other major financial centres.

‘They will enjoy an operating environment in which they can create a real and vibrant capital market that will channel investment into the region, act as a motor of economic growth and gradually make a real difference in the lives of many people.”

He continued:

“The DIFC is the culmination of thirty years of development that has transformed Dubai from a petroleum reliant Emirate to one with a diverse, broad-based economy. Furthermore, it will contribute hugely to the on-going development of the region as well as creating jobs and opportunities for UAE nationals and expatriates alike.”

Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, DIFC Authority Director General, said,

“With the issue of these three licences, the next major global financial centre is now a reality. This is great news for many of the world’s leading financial services businesses who have already endorsed the DIFC by applying for licences to operate here and we can expect further licences to be issued shortly.

“I would like to congratulate Julies Baer, Standard Chartered and the GCC Energy Fund on the award of their licences. They have been early advocates of the DIFC concept and I thank them for their continued support.”

Dr Omar further stated,

“The global financial services landscape is, from this moment, forever changed. We can now say that the gap left by the capital markets of Europe and the US in the West and Asia in the East is a step closer to being filled. By providing a highly regulated, low cost financial environment with complete transparency and state of the art physical environment, our vision of creating a universally recognized hub for institutional financial services and the regional gateway for capital and investment is nearly fulfilled.”

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