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DIFC Overview:-

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)

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The DIFC is the world's fastest growing international financial centre. It aims to develop the same stature as New York, London and Hong Kong. It primarily serves the vast region between Western Europe and East Asia. Since it opened in September 2004, the DIFC has attracted high calibre firms from around the globe as well as its region.

A world-class stock exchange, NASDAQ Dubai (formerly know as the Dubai International Financial Exchange or DIFX), opened in the DIFC in September 2005. The DIFC is a 110-acre free zone. It is part of the larger vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, together with the Government of Dubai, to create an environment for progress and economic development in the UAE and the wider region.

Sectors The DIFC focuses on several sectors of financial activity: Banking Services (Investment Banking, Corporate Banking & Private Banking); Capital Markets (Equity, Debt Instruments, Derivatives and Commodity Trading); Asset Management and Fund Registration; Insurance and Re-insurance; Islamic Finance & Professional Service Providers.

Financial institutions may apply for licences in the above sectors. Firms operating in the DIFC are eligible for benefits such as a zero tax rate on profits, 100 per cent foreign ownership, no restrictions on foreign exchange or repatriation of capital, operational support and business continuity facilities. Financial services in the DIFC are regulated to international standards by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

As a new global jurisdiction for financial institutions, the DIFC offers its participants a highly attractive investment environment, including:

  • 100 percent foreign ownership
  • zero percent tax rate on income and profits
  • wide network of double taxation treaties available to UAE incorporated entities
  • no restrictions on foreign exchange or capital/profit repatriation
  • dollar denominated environment
  • transparent operating environment with high standards of rules and regulations
  • strict supervision and enforcement of money laundering laws
  • ultra modern office accommodation, state-of-the-art technology, sophisticated infrastructure, data protection/security, operational support and business continuity facilities of uncompromisingly high standards.

Facts and Figures

  • Land under development: 45 Hectares / 5million sft
  • Around 40 Towers on a shared podium
  • Built up area (including parking): 4 million square meters / 45 million sft total
  • Gross Floor Area: 2 million square meters
  • The DIFC Master plan consists of the following districts:
    • The Gate District -  The Gate and 6 precinct buildings
    • The Gate Village
    • Park Avenue District  
    • Central Park District
    • The Centre
    • Gate Boulevard
  • The above districts will consist of office towers, residential towers and hotel properties.
  • Over 45,000 knowledge workers in DIFC
  • 32,600 car parking spaces in the DIFC
  • Retail Spine provides air-conditioned main street
  • Landscaped podium roof creates resort-like Business Environment
  • There will be Cultural, Leisure and Community centers in the DIFC  
  • An Internal Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) System to enable ease of movement both for the knowledge workers and residents of DIFC.
  • The DIFC will directly link to the Dubai Metro

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