Dubai International Financial Centre Records 7% Growth in Active Registered Companies and Employment in First Half of 2013



Net total of 979 registered companies with a combined workforce of 15,000 currently operating within DIFC’s financial ecosystem
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial and business hub connecting the region’s emerging markets with the markets of Europe, Asia and the Americas, updates the market today on its continuous positive performance throughout the first half of 2013.

H1 2013 Highlights

  • The net total of active registered companies operating in the Centre grew to 979 (FY 2012: 912), an increase of 7%
  • 94 commercial licences were issued in H1 2013
  • 1000 net new jobs created and 15,000 employees working in the Centre
  • The total leased commercial space increased by 122,300 square feet in H1 of 2013 representing a 6% increase over the total commercial space leased as of December 2012
  • Occupancy of DIFC-owned commercial offices in the Gate District increased to 97% (FY 2012: 94%) of the leasable space
  • Occupancy in DIFC-owned retail space increased to 99%, compared to 98% occupancy at year end 2012

Jeffery Singer, CEO of DIFC Authority commented;
Dubai International Financial Centre has witnessed numerous achievements over the last decade, and the last six months have been a continuation of our success. The Centre’s unique infrastructure, internationally recognized legislative and regulatory framework, and dynamic business environment have positioned DIFC to become a financial ecosystem. By connecting the region to the world, and the world to the region, DIFC provides excellent opportunities for companies based in the Centre to operate and expand their business, as reflected in the success and growth of Dubai’s economy.
Operating Review
DIFC has continued to strengthen its position as the international financial centre of choice in the region. As of 30 June 2013, 979 active registered companies had a presence in DIFC (FY 2012: 912 companies), with 365 regulated, 481 non-regulated companies, and 133 retailers (FY 2012: 345 regulated, 450 non-regulated, and 117 retailers).

Interest from North America and Europe continues to increase as western multinationals look to diversify their operations and expand towards the East. DIFC has also witnessed sustained interest from Middle Eastern and Asian firms looking to increase their exposure to opportunities arising in Africa and the West. Today, the geographical diversity of the Centre’s total number of regulated companies reaffirms DIFC’s growing status as a global financial centre catering to the region. Approximately 36% of regulated companies come from Europe, 27% from the Middle East, 16% from North America, 11% from Asia, and 10% from the rest of the world.

In the first half of 2013, DIFC issued 94 commercial licences.
The Centre welcomed 31 new regulated companies. These companies included:

  • China Construction Bank (Dubai) Limited
  • Bank of Baroda
  • Agricultural Bank of China
  • Asia Capital Re

49 licenses were issued to new non-regulated companies, including:

  • FTSE International (MEA) Limited
  • Dar Al Sharia Limited
  • Vitol Dubai Limited

DIFC also attracted 21 new retailers in the first half of 2013, including The Magazine Shop and Max Electronics, compared to 22 for the full year 2012 equal to the total number of outlets that registered with the Centre in 2012.
As DIFC continues to develop its modern and supportive infrastructure, major international firms expanded their operations within the Centre.
DIFC remains the financial hub of choice for the world’s leading companies with 21 of the world’s top 25 banks, 11 of the top 20 money managers, 6 of the world’s 10 largest insurers, and 6 out of 10 top law firms all based in the Centre.
Dubai has emerged as one of the Top 10 international financial centres, ranked 6th in The Banker’s (FT Business) ranking of international financial centres. Dubai ranks 3rd on inward FDI in financial sector and 5th on foreign listings (% of total listings).
Soft Infrastructure Development
DIFC continues to develop its internationally-recognised legal and regulatory framework in order to support the growth of financial services and commercial activities in the region, while operating under the highest global standards.
During the first six months of 2013, DIFC Authority proposed the amendment of a number of DIFC laws and regulations through the DIFC Laws Amendment Law, DIFC Law No. 1 of 2013 (“DIFC Laws Amendment Law”), in order to comply with the requirements set out by the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and the Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (“OECD Global Forum”), and aligning the Arbitration Law, DIFC Law No.1 of 2008 (“Arbitration Law”) to the New York Convention.
In addition, DIFC Authority is also proposing to include transitional provisions in the Non-Profit Incorporated Organisations Law, DIFC Law No.6 of 2012 (“Non Profit Incorporated Organisations Law”) to allow existing non-profit organisations to become Non-Profit Incorporated Organisations without having to dissolve and re-incorporate.
Physical Infrastructure Development
As new companies join the Centre and existing companies expand their operations organically, demand for space at DIFC continues to flourish. The total leased commercial space increased by 6% over the total commercial space leased in December 2012 to 122,300 square feet in the first half of 2013.
Occupancy of the DIFC-owned commercial offices in the Gate District (Gate Building, Gate Precinct and Gate Village) remains high at 97% of the leasable space (total commercial office space: 1,371,000 square feet), while occupancy within the DIFC-owned retail space has increased to 99% (total DIFC-owned retail space: 230,000 square feet).
Third party owned office space, managed by DIFC under the Property Lease Management Agreement (PLMA), includes Currency House, Currency Tower and a number of units in Liberty House. The total area of these combined spaces is 530,000 square feet, 94% of which is currently occupied.
Third party owned office space not managed by DIFC includes units in the Index Tower, Park Towers and Emirates Financial Towers, Precinct Building 1 and 6, as well as a number of units in Liberty House, with the total space currently occupied in these buildings standing at approximately 372,000 square feet.

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