The landmark agreements signed by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) during its recent Global Financial Forum have the potential to transform Dubai into one of the world’s top financial hubs, according to global accountancy and finance body ICAEW.
The forum was held on 11 March and organised by DIFC in partnership with the Financial Times. Key announcements included: DIFC’s rise from 15th to 12th position on the latest Global Financial Centres Index; MEVP (Middle East Venture Capital) and Wamda Capital appointed to manage part of $100 million FinTech fund; and FinTech Hive signing knowledge-sharing memoranda of understanding with three new global Fintech accelerators. DIFC has been bolstered further by its growing wealth and asset management sector valued at around $424 billion, equivalent to roughly 30% of the combined GDP of all GCC countries.
Commenting on growth of DIFC and its forthcoming initiatives, Michael Armstrong FCA and ICAEW Regional Director for Middle East, Africa and South Asia said:
“DIFC’s rise in the latest Global Financial Centres Index highlights the strong momentum in Dubai’s financial services landscape. Improvements in governance standards combined with the progressive forward thinking of the leadership team underscore the government’s willingness to embrace disruptive technology and thrive in this fast-paced, changing world.
“The launch of a $100m fintech fund and the announcement of FinTech Hive’s MoUs with FinTech Saudi, Milan’s FinTech District and FinTech Istanbul—which bring its growing global network to 14 fintech hubs—is proof of Dubai’s commitment to the future of finance. In today’s globalised world, such collaboration and knowledge sharing is crucial to optimise innovation and generate exciting business opportunities for the region.
“The financial services sector is highly competitive, innovative and fast-moving, playing vitally important roles in encouraging economic development and investment. The need to incentivise and attract capital, talent and customers in highly competitive markets calls for commercial flair and focus. If regulations are kept up to date, which has been the case, by working together to build confidence and trust, Dubai’s financial services sector has great potential to continue to attract investment and significantly contribute to the region’s economy. Dubai also has the potential to realise its ambition to become among the world’s top financial hubs.”