Dubai financial free zone grows to record level

Dubai International Financial Centre has licensed nearly 20% more firms during H1 2015 compared to 2014
Dubai financial free zone grows to record level
By Courtney Trenwith
Sun 06 Sep 2015 05:06 PM

The number of companies registered at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has grown to a record 1,327, deputy CEO Arif Amiri said.

The centre has grown nearly 20 percent compared to last year, with 140 new licensed companies during the first half of 2015. The new firms leased 178,376 square foot of net commercial space during the six month period, compared to a total 282,000 sq ft in the whole of 2014.

Amiri said DIFC now hosted 382 financial services firms and 750 non-financial services firms, up by 9.1 percent and 25 percent, respectively, compared to the first half of 2014.

Retail also was booming, up 14.5 percent year-on-year during H1 2015 and totalling 182 outlets.

New clients include insurance specialists Lloyd’s of London, BKL (Bae, Kim & Lee), a leading Korean law firm, and BankMed, one of the fastest growing banks in Lebanon.

DIFC announced in June a 10-year growth strategy that aimed to consolidate its position as one of the world’s leading financial hubs.

Last week, it announced plans to attract 100 firms from India, which now represents the third largest source market behind the USA and UK.

China also has added to the DIFC growth, with the top four Chinese banks now licenced in the area and others expected soon.

Part of the growth will be accommodated in the new The Gate District, due to be completed in 2017 with 160,000 sq ft of office space and 40,000 sq ft dedicated to retail and food and beverage outlets.

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