Dubai-UAE: 21 May 2017 – Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading financial hub in the $7.4 trillion Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), has reinforced its position as the largest fund regime in the region at an event which highlighted how property funds and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are becoming increasingly popular and opening up significant investment opportunities in the real estate sector.
The event, hosted by DIFC and the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), highlighted how the region is experiencing growth in property funds including REITs, Qualified Investor Funds (QIFs) and Exempt Funds. DIFC clients, have been the first in the region to benefit from enhanced regulation and laws which has enabled them to launch REITs.
The Centre has the potential to be the destination of choice for REITs in the MEASA region. This follows recent successful launches by ENBD REIT, which redomiciled from Jersey to DIFC, and Equitativa Limited, which launched the first Sharia-compliant REIT in the UAE because it is home to almost 200 wealth and asset managers. Activity in this sector has the potential to shape the future of real estate, a critical component of the local, UAE and regional economy.
Additionally, DIFC and Dubai Land Department (DLD) recently signed a ground-breaking Memorandum of Understanding, a strategic move which will simplify the land owner registration process with DLD for DIFC-based companies, partnerships, foundations, REITs and real estate funds. This landmark agreement is expected to encourage greater institutional investment into Dubai’s real estate sector.
Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, said: “Having successfully supported our clients to launch property funds and REITs, we are seeing more interest in them. DIFC’s proven and trusted legal and regulatory environment supports real estate as an asset class and its growth potential will play an integral role in the delivery of our 2024 strategy.”
DIFC is currently working with a number of clients who are interested in issuing REITs, and many more on establishing QIFs and Exempt Funds, which have the potential to be converted to REITs.