Dubai International Financial Centre
Throughout its existence, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) which was founded in 2004 gained a reputation of a leading financial hub recognized at the international level. In addition to its unrivalled, state-of-the-art infrastructure, this free economic zone comprising a mini city within its borders has its very own judicial system with an English common law framework where proceedings are conducted in English. For international companies, it is a more powerful alternative to local courts where all court proceedings are in Arabic conducted exclusively by Arab lawyers.
This largest in the region financial ecosystem is home to over 2,000 active companies registered here. Giants of the international financial sector, wealth management and investment firms, banks, payment service providers and other financial institutions, fintech companies, brokers, insurance companies are among them (such as the Bank of China, the Mauritius Commercial Bank Limited, Gazprombank (Switzerland) Ltd, International Fiscal Association (DIFC) NPIO, Zurich Insurance Company Limited, to name just a few).
Apart from the companies regulated by the Dubai Financial Authority, DIFC is also home to numerous non-regulated companies (traders, retailers, law firms, art galleries) from all over the world.
As appropriate for one of the world’s most advanced financial centres, DIFC offers the companies operating within it a high-standard, transparent operating environment where every company is enabled to excel.
That’s exactly why DIFC has recently been experiencing an explosive growth of fintech startups: Here, they have all important benefits, facilities and support they require for development and growth.
Some unique competitive advantages that make DIFC stand out from other free zones are as follows:
- Access to capital markets
- An international stock exchange
- Own judicial system based on English common law
- US dollar-based environment
- Financial sector players and highly trained specialists
- One-stop shop for immigration and related services (visas, permits, etc.)
There are the following main obstacles companies may face in DIFC, primarily in regard to young companies and cash-strapped fintech startups:
- A minimum required share capital between USD 10,000 – 10 million
- Annual audit
- Physical presence in form of a separate office
- Strict due diligence and background checks prior to company formation/transfer
- High registration costs and commercial rental rates
Interested in registering/redomiciliating your company in/to DIFC? Do get in touch for a free consultation and more details!