Within just 4 months of operations DIFC exceeds the target for the whole of 2004

Announces over 20 firms now operating from Centre's jurisdiction

The DIFC was launched in September 2004, with the announcement that the first three institutions had been registered to operate from the DIFC. The licences were awarded to Swiss Private Bank, Julius Baer, Standard Chartered Bank and the GCC Energy Fund.

Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Director General of the DIFCA, explained the situation thus:

“Since the award of the first licences, we have been overwhelmed by the demand from many of the world’s most respected financial services businesses to set up in DIFC, and I am delighted to confirm that as last year ended, the total number of firms registered with DIFC exceeded our entire target for 2004. We look forward to achieving new levels of success during 2005 and will continue to drive our value proposition forward. We are here to meet the needs of the industry and we are proactively using feedback to strengthen DIFC’s position as a catalyst for regional economic growth, development and diversification.”

Dr Bin Sulaiman added, “with the growth in the reinsurance sector, an Islamic Finance industry that the world has identified as an area of vast potential and a burgeoning investment industry growing in sophistication and critical mass, this trend points to dramatic development in the financial industry and DIFC is driving this growth.“

Other recent 2004 highlights for the DIFC include the announcement in December that the Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, had enacted the law establishing the Judicial Authority at the DIFC which creates and sets out the jurisdiction of the court, allowing for the independent administration of justice in the DIFC. In addition, the DIFC Courts Law which sets out the powers, procedures, functions and administration of the court was enacted in December. These critical aspects further differentiate the DIFC as an international financial centre.

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