UAE- Market size from DIFC activities surpasses $700b
Monday, 03 09 2020, Category: Economy, Country: U.A.E
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) said on Sunday it drew a record-breaking 493 new businesses in 2019 with the total number of firms in the centre surging 14 per cent to 2,437as the market size from all activities surpassed $700 billion.
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the DIFC, said the 2019 growth reflects the Centre's significant direct contribution to Dubai's economy, in line with the vision of establishing the emirate as a major global centre for the new economy.
"Both the DIFC's expansion and its ability to reinforce its status as a hub for the world's largest financial institutions are all the more exceptional considering the current stagnant growth in the global financial industry," said Sheikh Maktoum.
The region's leading financial hub said in a statement that it currently counts 17 of the world's top 20 banks, eight of the 10 leading global law firms, three of the top five insurance companies and six of the top 10 asset managers among its clients.
In 2019, total banking assets booked in DIFC stood at $178 billion (up by 13 per cent from 2018). An additional $99 billion of lending was also arranged by DIFC firms. DIFC's total Wealth and Asset Management (WAM) industry is worth D$424 billion, of which $99 billion was invested by DIFC portfolio managers. Gross Written Premiums for the insurance sector reached nearly $2 billion in 2019, representing a growth of 17.4per cent versus 2018.
Essa Kazim, chairman of DIFC Authority Board of Directors and Governor of DIFC, said 2019 was another momentous year for DIFC. "We are pleased to have produced record results having achieved a number of milestones including firms registered, the number of employees at the Centre and total assets.
"The Centre's success is being powered by our focus on sector diversification, investment in innovation and our unwavering commitment to attracting the best global and local talent. We have also forged a number of new partnerships and strengthened existing agreements internationally and regionally which have helped the Centre achieve substantial growth," said Kazim.
The governor said the depth of expertise and experience in financial services, as well as the incredible innovation and entrepreneurship that is now being fostered at DIFC means that Dubai's financial sector will only go from strength to strength, further strengthening the economy.
Arif Amiri, chief executive officer of DIFC Authority, said a strategy has been mapped out for DIFC that has confirmed its place in the global network of world financial centres and is supporting innovation, trade and investment throughout the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region. "By providing a stable well-regulated platform for businesses in the region to thrive, we will also be able to increase significantly the contribution we make to Dubai's dynamic economy."
Amiri said the centre has a deep commitment to developing the technologies necessary for digitising the future economy of the region. "The rapid growth of young tech firms setting up in DIFC is validation of our strategy to help start-ups to grow by providing access to capital, talent and mature partners with established networks. We are developing a tech ecosystem that will enable tomorrow's entrepreneurs to flourish."
The DIFC said it is home to 737 active financial firms, representing an 18 per cent increase since 2018, and 64 per cent growth in five years. Notable registrations in 2019 include AntFinancial's global payments pioneer WorldFirst, Malaysia's Maybank Islamic Berhad, US financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald, and Mauritius Commercial Bank.
The DIFC contributed to the creation of 2,034 new jobs, increasing the combined workforce to more than 25,600 professionals, up nine per cent versus 2018, representing more than 140 nationalities.