Dubai's DIFC, London seek deeper ties

London's Lord Mayor says committed to strengthening trade, investment links with emirate

Dubai and London are looking to strengthen trade and investment links, following the visit of London's Lord Mayor to the emirate.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) received the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Roger Gifford, this week, with both sides saying they were committed to "furthering a continued historic bilateral relationship with the aim of strengthening trade and investment links".

The Lord Mayor met with Jeff Singer, CEO of DIFC Authority, and during his two day visit, he also met with policy makers from a number of banks and other institutions.

Commenting on the visit, Gifford said: "The UK already has a strong mutually beneficial partnership with the DIFC and there are a number of opportunities for closer cooperation.

"I look forward to exploring how City firms can leverage their unique experience and expertise to further support the development of the DIFC as a gateway to the wider region while building on the recent Memorandum of Understanding with TheCityUK."

Singer added: "Trade and investment is at the core of our relationship with the UK and we have always collaborated with the City of London on strategic areas to build stronger links between our financial centres.

"DIFC offers a truly open and transparent business environment, supported by an internationally recognised regulatory and legislative framework, which serves as a gateway for British firms to enter the Middle East and surrounding markets."

The Lord Mayor's visit comes following the recent establishment of a UK-UAE Taskforce, aimed at reinforcing the UK's relationship with the UAE in culture, education, defence and security, trade and investment, and foreign policy co-operation.

Dubai is now ranked as the top financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, and is placed as one of the top five global centres where international firms want to open offices, alongside Singapore, Hong Kong, London and Shanghai, as reported in the Global Financial Centres Index last September.

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