The emirate of Sharjah is reportedly studying plans to establish itself as a new offshore financial centre.
The move could see the northern emirate rival existing financial hubs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, reported Forbes which quoted Marwan Al Sarkal, CEO of the Sharjah Investment & Development Authority (Shurooq) in confirming interest in the move.
He told Forbes: “We’re at the design stage. We’re planning to do something on that. There is a huge potential.
“Until now it is at the study stage. We have not yet decided if were going for it or not going for it. We have not yet finished the study,” he was quoted as saying.
The Dubai International Financial Centre has established itself as a global financial hub while the Abu Dhabi Global Market has recently started operating in the UAE capital.
Sharjah’s plans would fit with a wider effort to develop the local economy and attract international businesses and investors.
Earlier this year, the ruler of Sharjah issued a decree to establish a media city free zone in the emirate to attract businesses from the media and creative industries from around the world.
And Forbes reported that Shurooq is due to open its first international office in London later this year and will launch a new advertising campaign under the slogan “Invest in Sharjah”.
The idea for the new financial hub comes at a tricky time for the offshore financial industry after the leaking of the Panama Papers from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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