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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 caliber firms from around the globe as well as its region. A
world-class stock exchange, NASDAQ Dubai (formerly known as the Dubai
International Financial Exchange or DIFX), opened in the DIFC in September
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.
The DIFC focuses on several sectors of
financial activity: Banking and Brokerage (Investment Banking, Corporate
Banking & Private Banking); Capital Markets (Equity, Debt Instruments,
Derivatives and Commodity Trading); Wealth Management (Asset Management, Fund
Registration and Family Office); Reinsurance and Captives; Islamic Finance
& Ancillary Services.
Financial institutions may apply for
licenses 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.