DIFC records best performance in 17-year history

Dubai: The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), the premier global financial center in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region recorded its best annual performance to date.

DIFC further boosted its global profile with a year of strong growth amid the global pandemic.

“DIFC’s best annual performance reflects Dubai’s position at the forefront of the global recovery in the financial sector and the broader economy,” said Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Governor of Dubai. , Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Dubai International Financial Centre.

“DIFC’s outstanding results are also a testament to the trust that local, regional and global businesses have placed in the Center as a financial industry hub that fosters growth and enterprise.”

Ahead of targets

The Center met its Strategy 2024 growth targets three years ahead of schedule in the first half of 2021. DIFC recorded 996 business registrations last year, the highest ever single-year record for the Center , a 36% increase from 2020. Growth in the number of businesses is more than triple the average number over the past decade. The total number of active registered companies operating in the DIFC increased by 25% to 3,644 entities from 2,919 in 2020. A total of 1,124 financial and innovation-related entities are now active and operating within the DIFC. DIFC, up 23%, compared to 915 in 2020. .

“Dubai’s economy has rebounded faster than many global economies from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. DIFC has helped drive this new phase of growth and we are proud to contribute significantly to Dubai’s GDP. Dubai Our goal in 2022 will be to boost the future economy by attracting more investment from the financial sector to the UAE,” said Essa Kazim, DIFC Governor.

In 2021, DIFC also recorded its highest ever annual revenue and operating profit. Revenue increased by 16% to MAD 897 million year-on-year from AED 774 million in 2020, and by 7% from AED 838 million in 2019 (pre-pandemic levels). The increase in turnover and cost control measures resulted in an increase in operating profit. Operating profit for 2021 reached Dh573 million, an increase of 26% from AED457 million in 2020 and 13% from AED510 million in 2019. For the first time, total assets exceeded Dh14.80 billion ($4 billion), reflecting DIFC’s strong financial position.

DIFC continued to enjoy a strong appetite for its centrally located Class A premises. Over the past year, an additional 350,000 square feet of commercial space has been leased in DIFC compared to 201,900 square feet in 2020, up 73%.

Skyrocketing Financial Assets

Total bank assets recorded in the DIFC increased to $198.5 billion from $189.4 billion in 2020, up 5%. This represents around 20% of the consolidated banking assets of the UAE financial sector. Additional loans of $108.1 billion were also provided by DIFC companies, up from $64 billion in 2020, an increase of 69%.

DIFC-based wealth and asset management portfolio managers invested $151.4 billion in 2021, up from $145.6 billion in 2020, up 4%. Gross written premiums for the insurance industry reached $1.8 billion, compared to $1.7 billion in 2020, an increase of 8%.

The Centre’s ability to continue to build a thriving financial community in a rapidly changing international environment demonstrates the ambitious vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, who enabled the emirate to create a strong economy fueled by innovation.

Among its 3,644 entities, DIFC is home to 17 of the 20 largest global banks, 25 of the 30 largest global systemically important banks, five of the 10 largest insurance companies, five of the 10 largest asset managers and numerous world leaders in law and consulting. businesses.

Significant growth was achieved across all lines of business, including banking, capital markets, wealth and asset management, and professional services. An exponential number of new clients came from the FinTech and Innovation sectors. In 2021, these increased to 503 compared to 303 in 2020.

“DIFC had an exceptional year in 2021 and achieved its growth objectives of the 2024 strategy three years ahead of schedule. The performance has been impressive for any financial center in the current global macroeconomic environment,” said Arif Amiri, Managing Director of DIFC Authority.

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