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banking and finance


Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO, DIFC Authority


development of its economies. 2011 will come to be recognised as the beginning of a long-term process of sweeping social, political and economic reforms that will have far-reaching consequences for every aspect of life in MENA, including business and commerce. Throughout 2011, DIFC has continued to


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grow by connecting the region’s emerging markets with the developed markets of Europe, Asia and the Americas. Our role during such an unprecedented year of change has been to provide a stable platform supporting the growth of regional operations of corporations and financial institutions from around the world. Indeed, Dubai continued to climb


the top ranks of international financial centres, and was ranked eighth in both the Banker’s (FT Business) ranking of international financial centres and the Xinhua-Dow Jones International Financial Centres Development Index 2011. Despite the unrest in several MENA countries, DIFC has experienced a 10 per cent increase in the number of companies operating from the Centre compared to last year. The growth of new member firms in DIFC reflects long- term opportunities in the region. In its latest economic forecast, the IMF has estimated that growth will slow from 3.9 per cent in 2011 to 3.6 per cent in 2012. However, the prospects for longer-


his year will be regarded as a critical moment in the history of the Middle East and North Africa and the


term economic growth in the region remain strong, particularly in the GCC, due to the abundance of natural resources and youthful populations, as well as the benefits of economic integration through the GCC Common


“Despite the unrest in several MENA countries, DIFC has experienced a 10 per cent increase in the number of companies operating from the Centre compared to last year. The growth of new member firms reflects long-term opportunities in the region.”


Market and larger Free Trade Area. DIFC, with its modern infrastructure, free zone status and international legal system, is uniquely positioned to support this growth in the region. in 2011 growth came from the


Middle East and Asia, reflecting the continuing global shift in economic focus towards the East. DIFC’s strategy in 2012 will


remain focused on supporting our existing clients with the expansion of their regional business and their presence in the Centre. We will also maintain our global drive to attract new business to the Centre from Asia, Brazil, India, North America and Europe.


GULF BUSINESS / 59 fast facts


– dubai international Financial centre is a federal financial free zone that provides a platform for businesses and financial institutions.


– the diFc has independent civil and commercial laws and also runs its own court. the diFc courts are, in fact, witnessing more cases – rising from nine in 2008 to 36 in 2010.


– the diFc authority also includes a risk-based regulator, the dubai Financial services authority (dFsa), which grants licences and regulates the activities of all the institutions in diFc.


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