The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is the financial and business hub which connects the region’s emerging markets with the developed markets of Europe, Asia and the Americas. The potential therefore for interested entrepreneurs and investors in this city is huge.
Strategically located between the east and west, the DIFC provides a secure and efficient platform for business and financial institutions. There are many incentives for investors including a supportive infrastructure and a tax-friendly regime.
DIFC fills the time-zone gap for a global financial centre between the leading financial centres of London and New York in the west, and Hong Kong and Tokyo in the east.
Since its launch in 2004, DIFC has been committed to encouraging economic growth and development in the region, through its strong financial and business infrastructure.
Currently DIFC’s client base comprises almost 912 active registered firms, including 19 of the world’s top 25 banks, 8 of the world’s 10 largest insurers, 6 out of 10 top law firms, and 11 of the top 20 money managers in the world.
Around 40% of the regulated firms come from different parts of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, and 42% from across Europe, with 18% taken up by companies from the US and the rest of the world.
Around 14,000 employees operate in an open environment complimented by international legal and regulatory standards. DIFC offers its member companies benefits such as 100% foreign ownership and tax exemptions. DIFC also has its own independent financial and ancillary services regulatory body, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
DIFC IS built upon a modern legal, regulatory and physical infrastructure, which makes it the destination of choice for Financial Services firms establishing a presence in the region.
Some of the many benefits for investors include:
- a platform to access regional wealth and investment opportunities
- 100% foreign ownership
- 0% tax rate on income and profits (for 50 years)
- A wide network of double taxation treaties available to UAE incorporated entities
- Free capital convertibility
- High standards of laws, rules and regulations
- Legal system based on common law of England and Wales
- Transparent operating environment
- Variety of legal structure
- Large number of skilled workforce living in Dubai
- Modern transport and communication systems
- A one-stop shop for visas and work permits
Living in Dubai
Dubai is a mix of old and new, east and west. With a large expatriate community the country is a vibrant cosmopolitan environment to live.
There is an abundance of leisure and recreational facilities to choose from, with high profile sporting events and exhibitions regularly held in Dubai. There is also a large choice of high quality luxury and budget hotels to choose from, and the well-kept beaches contribute to Dubai’s enviable profile as a place to live, visit, and conduct business.
Foreigners are free to practice their own religion and women, whether married or single and do not face any discrimination and so it is a safe place to drive, work and move around freely in.
Dubai has a first class network of roads connecting all parts of the city and surrounding areas. Public transport is efficient too, with a choice of buses and taxis which operate for a reasonable fare. The city also has a light rail system which links residential areas of Dubai with the international airport, city centre, shopping malls and business district.
There is a choice of high standard medical care in Dubai in both public and private establishments. There are four government hospitals in Dubai and a number of private hospitals. There are also a number of international private medical insurance organisations set up in the local market.
As far as choices of education, the standard of private primary and secondary schools, technical colleges and universities in Dubai are first class. Private educational institutions offer a wide range of curricula including the American, British, French and German systems.
All in all Dubai is a favourable option with many to live and work in and companies within the financial sector will find the DIFC to be a great location to establish and run a business.