The Dubai International Financial Centre celebrated its fifth anniversary, capping a period of rapid growth during which it established itself as a leading global hub for institutional finance and a gateway for capital and investment in a vast region between Europe and East Asia.
Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, with the vision of developing a financial centre that would be a crucial node in global finance, DIFC’s achievements have helped Dubai significantly raise its global profile as a financial centre.
HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre said: “HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has reshaped the world’s financial map by establishing DIFC, which today has emerged as a competitor to the world’s top-ranked financial centres.
“Under the leadership of HH Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of DIFC, the organisation has come a long way in fulfilling its founding vision and objectives. The rapid growth of DIFC’s business community demonstrates the confidence of the global financial industry in DIFC. Most of the world’s top-ranked banks and asset managers have established a presence in the financial district. DIFC has grown not just in size but also in the breadth and depth of financial activity conducted out of it, making it a powerful catalyst for industry development.” He added.
David Eldon, Chairman of the DIFC Authority said: “The vision behind DIFC and its development over the last five years represent Dubai’s economic dynamism at its best. DIFC’s experience in developing the high-quality infrastructure and environment as well as the critical mass of financial institutions necessary for rapid industry growth provides valuable lessons for emerging economies. As the world economy goes through fundamental change and realignment, DIFC is poised to emerge as a major global player in the coming years.”
Abdullah M Saleh, Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) said: “The DIFC journey began with an idea, a vision and a dream. The dream to create a vibrant environment that will promote local and international investment in the region, to foster economic growth and to make a real difference to the lives of many people. We owe our gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, without whose wisdom and vision, none of this would have been possible.”
Sir Anthony Evans, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts said: “Within a short time DIFC has positioned itself as a world-leading financial centre. This is evident in the nature of the businesses and talent it has attracted to the region, bringing with it the highest professional standards and innovation the Centre has become known for. The regulatory structure and judicial system at the Centre empowers this commerce and creativity within a transparent and sound environment, defined in Dubai and DIFC Laws’ transparent and sound framework.”
Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of the DIFC Authority said: “In its first five years, DIFC has underlined not only its capacity for rapid growth but also its ability to offer a stable and secure base for financial institutions. By providing a platform for institutions to deliver a wider range of services and nurturing the development of new niche sectors, DIFC has become a powerful catalyst for the development of the region’s financial industry.”
Paul M Koster, Chief Executive, Dubai Financial Services Authority said: “HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s bold vision and historic decision to establish a financial centre similar in regulatory structure and quality to the main global capital markets was truly remarkable. The DIFC has become a powerful engine in attracting business from the world's leading banks and financial institutions. Similarly, the DFSA has been successful in developing, administering and enforcing regulations of genuine world-class quality. We are optimistic about the future, as a result of this strong foundation laid over the last five years.”
Over the past five years, DIFC has seen a rapid expansion of its industry cluster. The number of registered companies in DIFC has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 127%. The impact of the global financial crisis did not dampen its growth. In 2008, the year in which the world was hit by an economic crisis, DIFC recorded the largest absolute annual increase in its business community with a total of 256 companies being registered. By the end of August 2009, there were over 850 registered companies in DIFC, several of which chose the financial district as the base for their regional headquarters.
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