Dubai International Finance Centre on target to triple in size by 2024

Author: PM Editorial | Date: 07 Sep 2016

More than 21,000 people now work for 1,539 different organisations

The number of organisations based in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) has grown 16 per cent over the past year to 1,539 and is on target to triple in size by 2024.

There are now more than 21,000 employees working for organisations in the DIFC, which comprises 42 per cent of the 2024 target of 50,000. Over the last year, 2,500 new people have taken up jobs in the financial hub – a 14 per cent increase on the previous year.

“Dubai and the DIFC serve as the gateway to the world’s fastest growing markets across the MEASA region,” said DIFC governor HE Essa Kazim. “This is reflected in our latest results and initiatives, which represent a major milestone in delivering on the centre’s forward-looking 2024 strategy.”

Of the 1,539 organisations in the DIFC, 425 are in financial services, 914 are non-financial firms and 192 are retailers. They come from all over the world, with a third from the Middle East, 18 per cent from the EU, 15 per cent from the UK, 12 per cent from Asia and 10 per cent from the rest of the world.

Among the new names to take offices in the centre are HSBC, which has moved its Middle East headquarters there, as well as regional banks including Ahli United Bank Limited and Bank of Palestine.

The DIFC has a number of its own laws and a specialised court system. Earlier this year, a Dubai consultancy was ordered to pay ex-employee more than US$1,500,000 for non-payment of salary by the Court of First Instance.

It is the biggest financial hub in the Middle East and is ranked 13th in the world by the Global Financial Centres Index, one place above Luxembourg. It has also been trying to increase its eco-friendly credentials by pledging to replace nearly 30,000 light bulbs with more energy efficient LED lights.