DIFC eyes expansion in Islamic finance; registered firms rise in H1 - CEO

DIFC eyes expansion in Islamic finance; registered firms rise in H1 - CEO
DIFC eyes expansion in Islamic finance; registered firms rise in H1 - CEO

By: Bedour El Raie

Dubai – Mubasher: In the first half of 2018, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) saw over 150 firms join the centre, CEO Arif Amiri has said.

The number of active companies registered with the DIFC rose by around 8% to 2,003 by the end of June 2018 from 1,853 by the end of December 2017, the top official told Mubasher in an interview.

Properties owned and managed by the DIFC enjoy high occupancy rates, Amiri revealed, indicating that occupation levels are at around 99%.

DIFC and Islamic finance

Turning to Islamic finance and companies registered with the DIFC and operating in the field, Amiri noted that since Nasdaq Dubai became a tenant at the DIFC, the bourse had become largest in the world for listing sukuk with $56.465 billion in listed Islamic instruments.

The emirate of Dubai continues to move forward and bolster its position as a global hub for Islamic finance, the top official went on, indicating that the DIFC now had over 20 financial Islamic institutions under its umbrella, providing Sharia-compliant banking services.

As for ongoing registrations, Amiri told Mubasher that Maybank Islamic Berhad recently announced plans to establish an office at the DIFC, reflecting the continuous progress undertaken by the Dubai-based centre.


Projects and Leasing

We expect the Gate Avenue project at DIFC, which has already commenced its final stage of construction works, to create a major break in the centre’s urban community, the DIFC CEO highlighted, forecasting that the project will be inaugurated in 2019.

As for the DIFC’s latest project, Amiri told Mubasher that leasable office space, which reaches 114,000 square feet, at The Exchange Building, has been leased by 98%.

In May, the DIFC said it had completed the eight-storey The Exchange Building at AED 180 million in investments. The building’s total leasable area reaches 147,000 square feet, while its leasable office space reaches 114,000 square feet.

Several startups have taken part in the FinTech Hive accelerator programme, which is affiliated to the DIFC, Amiri revealed, noting that the programme was the first-of-its-kind in the region.


Translated by: Nada Adel Sobhi