Dubai- An emerging financial hub

Finical Hub

Compiled by- Chandni Shah

New York, right? Hong Kong, London. We all know the capital cities of the financial world. The list has been the same for decades.

Dubai is looking to shake up all of that. An initiative called DIFC – the Dubai International Financial Centre – has helped Dubai climb to eighth place in world financial center rankings published by Z/Yen Group in September.

Dubai ranks as regional first, 17th globally in Global Financial Centres Index in Sept 2022

So first let’s understand what makes a city a financial center?

There are 5 main factors according to which the index ranks cities as biggest global financial centers.

  1. The kind of business environment in the city which makes sure there is no hostility in the innovation arena.
  2. Tracing the pace of financial sector’s development to avoid stagnation of technology,
  3. Making sure that the city offers good infrastructural facilities.
  4. Takes good care of its human capital which includes a positive work culture and fair wages.
  5. Other reputational and general factors.

How Dubai is emerging as Global Financial Hub?

Businesses based in the DIFC benefit from a 50-year exemption from all taxes on corporate income and profits.

The region also has incentives to encourage foreign licensed firms to locate in the region, including the ability to retain 100% foreign ownership.

Some of the foreign businesses to take advantage of the DIFC’s benefits include US oil and gas company ExxonMobil, financial services firm World First UK and Egyptian mobile payments platform PayMob.

  • DIFC is the only free zone in Dubai with an internationally recognized, independent financial regulator and a proven judicial system with an English common law framework (as opposed to civil law and commercial in other free zones).
  • DIFC is home to the region’s largest and comprehensive financial ecosystem of more than 25,000 professionals working across over 2,700 active registered companies – making up the largest and most diverse pool of industry talent in the region.

The Centre’s vision is to drive the future of finance. Today, it offers:

  • The most active regulatory sandbox and one of the region’s most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments,
  • Cost-effective licensing solutions (commercial and regulatory licensing),
  • Regulations modeled on international accepted standards,
  • Access to early and growth stage start-ups that are fit-for-purpose regulation,
  • Innovative accelerator programs, and
  • Funding for growth-stage start-ups.

Comprising a variety of world-renowned retail and dining venues, a dynamic art and culture scene, residential apartments, hotels and public spaces, DIFC continues to be one of Dubai’s most sought-after business and lifestyle destinations. Disruptive start-ups and tech companies have been driving exponential change in the world economy.

 Let’s discover how Dubai is the forefront of that change

 As this global ecosystem grows, the world is responding to it and new destinations are emerging to compete with the traditional hubs of Silicone Valley, New York City, London and Beijing. In the Middle East region, Dubai is the leading that charge.

Dubai seeks to future – proof its economy through the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), which unites government and private sector entities to deepen research, knowledge and development in the sectors flagged as key to the future. DFF has launched the Dubai Future Accelerators Fund, with the objective of the facilitating partnerships between entrepreneurs, private sector organizations and government entities.

As the technology transforms the nature of financial transactions, Dubai is taking the lead in the region’s fintech and regtech sector.

Dubai’s unique geographic location makes it the ultimate global gateway. A stepping stone between the established economies of the West and the growth potential of the East, Dubai’s world class infrastructure and established financial industry have shaped the emirate into one of the world’s leading trade centers.

With its own focus on attracting investment in technology including robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), Dubai is well positioned to lead the fintech revolution and is already recognized as one of the world’s top 10 Fintech hubs.

DIFC is leading financial hub of the MEASA region.