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Dubai’s DIFC says company registrations up 34 per cent last year

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The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) achieved 34 per cent growth in new registrations last year, bringing the total number of active companies in the Gulf’s financial hub to 5,523, its governor said on Thursday.

“The overall growth of companies has been supported by both financial and innovation companies and non-financial companies,” Essa Kazim told a news conference, adding that growth was driven by companies in the fintech and innovation sectors.

He said the DIFC posted a net profit of $203 million in 2023, up about 45 per cent, while combined revenue rose 23 per cent to $352 million.

There is increasing competition among Gulf states to develop their financial sectors as part of economic diversification, with the likes of Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Doha bolstering investment in their own financial centres.

But Kazim said he was not concerned about competition from Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy, or others when it came to attracting companies, and that economic growth across the region meant the pipeline was growing bigger for everyone.

Demand from hedge funds to set up in DIFC is significant, with growth of 124 per cent last year and strong interest from the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States, he added.

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