By Andy Sambidge
Financial free zone's workforce increases by 14% in 2014 as 242 new companies were licensed
Dubai's financial free zone said on Wednesday that its total workforce increased by 14 percent during 2014 as hundreds of new companies were licensed.
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) reported an 18 percent increase in the number of active registered companies operating, reaching 1,225 at the end of 2014, compared with 1,039 in 2013.
A total of 242 new companies were licensed during 2014, compared with 199 new companies licensed in 2013, representing an increase of 22 percent, DIFC said in a statement.
The growth in new companies means that on average, DIFC granted licences to one new company every working day of the year. Only the boom year of 2008 registered a higher number of new company licences.
The total workforce rose to 17,860 people, from 15,600 at the end of 2013. The number of net new jobs created in 2014 was 42 percent more than the net new jobs created in 2013, the statement added.
Net additional leased commercial office space increased 15 percent, reaching 282,000 square feet in 2014.
Of the 1,225 total active firms at the end of 2014, there were 362 financial services firms, 682 non-financial services firms and 171 retailers.
Essa Kazim, governor of DIFC and chairman of DIFC Authority, said: "These results demonstrate that Dubai International Financial Centre continues to be the destination of choice for regional and international financial services firms looking to access the growing opportunities available in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia."