This ranking underscores the economic potential of Dubai as the destination of choice for international organisations.
Dubai has risen in the ranks of the Global Financial Centres Index, GFCI, to the eighth position, representing its highest ever-ranking. The city is the only financial centre within the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, MEASA, to appear within the top 10 rankings, placing it alongside other pivotal financial hubs such as London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of DIFC, said, “The DIFC is one of the key initiatives at the forefront of Dubai’s new phase of growth and its efforts to create a business and investment environment that rivals the world’s best. In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai will further increase its commitment to supporting the financial industry and making the city a leading player in shaping the future of the global financial landscape. Our sights are set firmly on the goal of becoming the No. 1 ranked global financial centre.”
Essa Kazim, Governor of the DIFC, said, “The recognition of Dubai as a top 10 global financial centre is a testament to the commitment we have made to our community, our valued stakeholders and global partners. The DIFC’s continued pursuit of excellence and our focus on innovation is delivering on our blueprint for sustainable growth as we continue our journey towards transforming the future of finance. This ranking further underscores the economic potential of the region and the strong promise of Dubai as the destination of choice for international organisations, emerging companies and the financial technology leaders of the future to collaborate to deliver exponential growth.”
Established in 2007, the GFCI is released twice a year by London-based Z/Yen and China Development Institute and provides evaluations of competitiveness and rankings for the major global financial centres. More than 114 centres were evaluated as part of the 26th GFCI ranking, using more than 133 instrumental factors.
The new ranking recognises DIFC’s strengths within all five major areas of the Index, including Business Environment, Human Capital, Infrastructure, Financial Sector Development and Reputation, reflecting its emergence as a broad, deep, dynamic and stable financial centre.
DIFC unveiled its new Employment Law in June 2019 to address key issues such as paternity leave, sick pay and end-of-service settlements to support the workforce based in the Centre, whilst protecting and balancing the needs and interests of both employers and employees. In line with global retirement savings trends, the DIFC also launched the Employee Workplace Savings scheme.
The centre experienced sustained growth in the first half of 2019, welcoming more than 250 new companies, and bringing the total number of active registered firms to 2,289, demonstrating a 14 percent increase year-on-year. The DIFC now boasts of more than 671 financial related firms, an 11 percent increase from the same period last year.
In January 2019, the DIFC reaffirmed Dubai’s mission to become a major economic force in the Middle East by unveiling the latest phase of an ambitious expansion project that will see the centre triple in size.
The centre has also witnessed a significant increase in the number of FinTechs applying to participate in the DIFC’s dedicated accelerator programmes, which is the first step towards testing the regional market for many global start-ups.
Meanwhile, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) and home to the largest, most advanced financial innovation ecosystem in the region is continuing to drive the future of finance and explore opportunities for strategic collaboration between the Centre and key European hubs to accelerate sustainable growth.
The Centre has undertaken a successful roadshow to key financial centres including the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland, led by H.E. Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC and Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority. During the week long campaign, high-level strategic meetings took place in London, Frankfurt, Paris and Zurich, highlighting DIFC as the ideal base for European firms seeking to scale their operations across the MEASA and capitalise on the exponential growth of the region.
The roadshow highlighted the strength of DIFC’s Wealth and Asset Management market which was reported to be $424 billion in 2018; equivalent to approximately 30% of the GCC’s combined GDP. The event also highlighted key milestones achieved by the Centre during the first half of 2019 and emphasised the DIFC’s focus on boosting financial sector development, investing in innovation, strengthening the already robust FinTech ecosystem and developing partnerships with key international accelerators.
As part of the Centre’s roadmap to support the economic vision of Dubai and the UAE by diversifying and disrupting the financial services industry and identifying opportunities for sustainable growth, the roadshow reflected DIFC’s sustained focus on financial innovation, with FinTech events and development meetings taking place in London, Paris and Switzerland.