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DIFC Leading the Way For Finance in the Middle East

Mark J Burns

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Dubai International Financial Centre is an onshore capital market, and is today one of the worlds fastest growing financial centres. An integral part of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's ‘Vision of Dubai, ’ the DIFC has become a financial hub of the Middle East, comparable with those in London, New York and Hong Kong. A designated financial free zone, the DIFC has attracted a large number of leading financial brands to the region since its launch in September 2004.

Within the DIFC, there is a focus on six key areas of financial activity: Banking Services (Investment Banking, Corporate Banking and Private Banking); Insurance and Re-insurance; Asset Management and Fund Registration; Capital Markets (Equity, Debt Instruments, Derivatives and Commodity Trading; Islamic Finance and Professional Service Providers. All companies looking to operate within the DIFC must apply for a trading licence in one of the above financial sectors.

In order to attract leading financial institutions to the region, the DIFC offers a range of incentives designed to create a highly attractive trading environment for its members. These incentives include zero taxation on corporate income or profits, 100 percent foreign ownership and no restrictions on foreign exchange or capital repatriation. As well as the financial incentives, the DIFC has also provided an ultra-modern, state of the art infrastructure. Offices in the DIFC will employ the very latest technology and communications to provide a truly world class service to its residents.

The focal point of the DIFC development is The Gate, a stunning 15-storey office tower housing the executive offices of the DIFC. An iconic building, The Gate is the architectural signature building of the DIFC, and a gateway to one of the worlds leading financial centres.

The DIFC district covers a total of 110 acres of prime Dubai real estate off the main Sheikh Zayed Road. A world class development, the DIFC will be a unique integration of offices, serviced apartments, hotels, conference centres, shops and restaurants. The DIFC residential district is a self-contained development of luxury property in DIFC, designed to provide the ultimate convenience for those working in the busy financial centre. Throughout the residential area, other facilities including museums, art galleries and performing arts centres will ensure that the DIFC becomes one of Dubai's premier tourist destinations.

Mark Burns is a Partner at Property-Dubai. tv, a large Dubai Real Estate company, providing consultative services for companies seeking office space in Dubai .


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