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Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)

is an onshore financial centre strategically located between the east and west, which provides a secure and efficient platform for business and financial institutions to reach into and out of the emerging markets of the region. The quality and range of DIFC’s independent regulation, common law framework, supportive infrastructure and its tax-friendly regime make it the perfect base to take advantage of the region’s rapidly growing demand for financial and business services.


DIFC fills the time-zone gap for a global financial centre between the leading financial centres of London and New York in the west and Hong Kong and Tokyo in the east. Guided by its core values of integrity, transparency and efficiency, DIFC is playing a pivotal role in meeting the growing financial needs of the region. Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which grants licenses and regulates the activities of financial services conducted through DIFC. The DFSA’s regulatory regime was developed using principle-based primary legislation modeled closely on internationally accepted standards. The regulator’s mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange.

DIFC is the largest cluster for international financial services between Singapore and Europe.

The business and financial services community in DIFC represents a wide cross section of the world’s leading players. Many of which have chosen the centre as the base for their regional headquarters.

DIFC’s global stature is evidenced by the geographic diversity of firms operating out of the Centre with approximately 40% of the regulated firms coming from different parts of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region; 42% from across Europe; and 18% from the US and rest of the world.
Since its establishment, DIFC has grown not just in size but also in the sophistication and depth of financial activity carried out from the Centre. Innovative legislative initiatives that addressed specific industry needs and the growing requirements of financial services across the region were key drivers of growth.
  • 16 of the world’s top 20 banks
  • 8 of the world’s top 20 largest asset managers
  • 4 of the world’s 5 largest insurance companies
  • 6 of the top 10 global law firms


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