DIFC records highest number of annual registrations since inception


Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has reported the best performance in its 16-year history.

The number of new firms operating in DIFC grew 20 per cent in 2020, taking the total to 2,919.

A total of 915 financial companies are now active in DIFC, up 24 per cent from 735 in 2019.

Meanwhile, the number of businesses in the FinTech and Innovation ecosystem more than doubled with 189 joining in 2020, taking the total to 303.

The figures reaffirm Dubai’s growing reputation across the global finance industry, 

Business sectors across DIFC achieved exponential growth, including banking, capital markets, wealth and asset management, FinTech and professional services.

The free zone's workforce increased by over 4 per cent year on year, an impressive achievement amidst the global pandemic.

A total of 1,135 new jobs were created by clients, taking the total to 26,773, representing 145 different nationalities.

In 2020, total banking assets booked in DIFC increased 6 per cent to US$189 billion. An additional US$64 billion of lending was also arranged by DIFC firms.

DIFC based Wealth and Asset Management portfolio managers invested US$203.5 billion, up by 106 per cent, from US$99 billion in 2019, with the industry now worth US$528.5 billion. Gross Written Premiums for the insurance sector reached US$1.7 billion.

DIFC's operating profit was US$125 million, broadly consistent with the prior year despite global economic headwinds.

The Centre continues to be the most sought-after business address in Dubai with over 94 per cent of its commercial office space leased.

In 2020, over 200,000 sq. ft of additional commercial space was leased. New flexible and innovative work environments were introduced, reflecting the future of work in a post-pandemic world. This includes the DIFC Innovation Hub.

It also continues to be a magnet for some of the world’s finest restaurants, leading fashion boutiques, home-grown brands and galleries.

DIFC, encompassing Gate District and Gate Village, raised its profile as a vibrant business and leisure community, with its retail and dining venues growing to 351. This includes 90 new retailers that joined in 2020.

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