In the first half of 2023, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) witnessed substantial growth, with 661 new companies being added and a record 3,057 new jobs created. The total number of operating companies in DIFC increased by 23 per cent year-on-year to reach 4,949 at the end of June 2023. The FinTech and Innovation sectors experienced significant growth, with a 35 per cent increase in the number of firms, totaling 811. The financial and innovation-related companies based in DIFC reached 1,443, representing a 15 per cent growth year-on-year.
The workforce in DIFC also expanded, with a total of 39,140 employees, marking a 20 per cent increase year-on-year. The free zone leased over 233,000 sqft of commercial space, with an occupancy rate of 99 per cent. DIFC was home to 632 financially regulated firms during the same period.
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance of the UAE, and President of DIFC, highlighted the strength of the ecosystem offered by DIFC for investment, innovation, and enterprise in the financial industry. He emphasized DIFC’s role in driving Dubai’s economic growth and unlocking the potential of advanced financial technologies.
Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, pointed out that the unprecedented growth in the first half of 2023 strengthens Dubai’s position as a global leader in finance and innovation. He highlighted the importance of DIFC’s contribution to the economy and its alignment with the Centre’s Strategy 2030 and Dubai’s Economic Agenda (D33).
Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, expressed pride in shaping the future of finance and the outstanding results achieved in the first half of 2023. He emphasized DIFC’s commitment to growth, attracting clients, expanding job opportunities, and reinforcing Dubai’s prominence as a global destination for top-tier talent.
During this period, hedge funds continued to flock to DIFC, with notable names such as Asia Research and Capital Management Ltd, Edmond de Rothschild, EnTrust Global, Hudson Bay Capital, King Street Capital, Nomura Singapore, St. James’s Place, and Verition Fund Management joining the free zone.
Additionally, the DIFC Launchpad is expected to support over 200 new ventures in Dubai, creating more than 8,000 jobs and attracting over Dh2 billion in venture capital. The growth and success of DIFC demonstrate its pivotal role in Dubai’s economic development and its position as a global financial and innovation hub.