DIFC is Helping to Accelerate the Middle East IPO Boom

Venture Capital

While global Initial Public Offerings have slowed down, the Middle East is bucking the trend, with the region’s boom estimated to continue throughout 2023. According to recent figures from Bloomberg, Middle Eastern IPOs have raised over USD 18 billion this year, representing 47 per cent of the USD 38.2 billion raised in the wider EMEA (Europe Middle East Africa) market. In fact, half the listing proceeds in Europe, the Middle East and Africa this year come from the GCC states, as the region benefits from high crude oil prices and increased investor appetite.

Salmaan Jaffery

Published: 23/01/2023

5 min read

As the region’s leading global financial centre and largest ecosystem of financial services related companies, DIFC and its clients are at the center of the region’s IPO boom.

DIFC’s ecosystem of 4,031 registered companies includes the world’s leading commercial and investment banks, asset managers and hedge funds, private equity and venture capital as well top legal, advisory and consulting firms.


Our ecosystem provides the perfect set of partners for companies looking to go public. Firms seeking IPOs can be assured that their DIFC based partners are operating within a strong legal and regulatory framework.

DIFC based banks and advisers manage IPO transactions and support roadshows to attract institutional investors. DIFC law firms are actively advising both banks and listing entities. Nasdaq Dubai is based in DIFC and an excellent IPO platform that is locally based yet associated with a strong international brand.

The Nasdaq First North Growth Market, a market formed in 2020 under the umbrella of Nasdaq Dubai, heralds a new era in assisting young businesses and small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) achieve the next phase of their expansion by raising capital through an IPO. As part of Dubai Future District project, the Growth Market welcomes both local and global companies and is part of a wider strategy to attract and encourage innovators.

Companies that list or ‘go public’ benefit by accessing diverse new sources of capital and by acquiring a more global profile. Increasingly, investors also expect to see these companies incorporate environmental, social and governance principles into their business model.

TECOM Group, the Dubai-based business park, issued an IPO in mid-2022, raising some AED1.7 billion (USD 463 million) from investors. The offering was supported by a host of DIFC based financial institutions such as Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley & Co and UBS, as well as law firms such as Allen & Overy and Latham & Watkins.

The booming IPO market is providing the impetus to leading banks to expand their regional operations and this growth is funnelling more talent into Dubai and resulting in new jobs and greater economic growth.

DIFC’s ecosystem will continue to support the development of the IPO market at a grassroots level. Take for example, graduates joining multinational banks and law firms. Working on IPO projects provides them with valuable experience during their early career. This experience enhances our banking talent pool and creates a virtuous cycle of high value work that in-turn generates economic growth in Dubai.

DIFC remains committed to encouraging investment, innovation and economic growth. This includes providing the best platform for our clients who are supporting the current IPO boom.