DIFC records promising growth in Q1 2023 welcoming international powerhouses
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region, continues to attract world-class international firms to Dubai with Apple, Aramco, Baker McKenzie, JLL, Stryker, and others establishing a new regional presence at the Centre.
These additions reinforce DIFC’s 2022 record-breaking annual results which saw a 19% year-on-year (YoY) increase in non-financial firms, bringing the total number of multinational companies, family businesses, as well as Corporate and Professional Service Providers to over 3,000.
The variety of non-financial firms establishing in DIFC in Q1 2023 is a clear indication of the Centre’s positioning as one of only 10 financial centres to be categorised as a global leader with breadth and depth in the most recent Global Financial Centres Index.
Newly established firms include Air Liquide Middle East and North Africa FZCO, a world leader in gases, technologies and services for industry and health; Alpadis Corporate Services (DIFC), which helps companies and private clients navigate through increasingly complex and regulated global markets; Apple, the world’s largest technology company by revenue; Aramco Trading Dubai Company, the global trading partner for refiners, shipping companies, financial institutions, end-users, and commodity trading companies; Baker McKenzie, a leading international law firm founded in 1949; Complyport Consulting, a top compliance and regulatory consultancy group providing bespoke, practical compliance solutions for investment firms; Investcom Holding Limited M1 Group, a diversified investment firm; JLL, a leading global professional services firm specialized in real estate, investment management, and development consultancy services; and Stryker, one of the world’s top medical technology companies.
The strong inflow of top firms underscores Dubai’s attractiveness as a global business hub and reaffirms DIFC’s position as a world-class ecosystem that continues to attract companies from around the world. The establishment of non-financial firms in DIFC supports the growth of the overall financial services sector, contributing significantly to Dubai’s economy.
Non-financial companies in DIFC benefit from the Centre’s close to 20-year history as an English common law jurisdiction with a transparent legal and regulatory system, access to a deep ecosystem of 36,000 professionals and 4,300 financial, technology and services firms, as well as top Financial and Innovation talent pools from around the world.
Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer at DIFC Authority, said: “DIFC is home to over 3,000 leading international non-financial firms today. The calibre and sector variety represented by the global powerhouses establishing in Q1 reaffirms the Centre’s position as one of only 10 financial hubs to be categorised as a global leader with breadth and depth in the most recent Global Financial Centres Index.
“Many of the services provided by these firms are utilised by financial services companies located in DIFC, and collectively, they contribute to our future economic growth in line with DIFC’s Strategy 2030. DIFC’s legal and regulatory framework and comprehensive range of business structures continue to be a pull for large corporates as they conduct their business with confidence and access fast-growth markets across the MEASA region and beyond.”
The growth in Corporate and Professional Service Providers contributed to DIFC’s highest ever annual employment growth with 6,381 new jobs created in 2022. The total number of active companies in DIFC also grew from 3,644 to 4,377, a 20% increase YoY, and the Centre ranked first as a free zone globally in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) for the 5th consecutive year in 2022.