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DIFC strengthens partnerships with European financial centres

Photo: WAM


The Dubai International Financial Centre, DIFC, has undertaken a successful roadshow to key financial centres, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Switzerland.

The events highlighted the DIFC as the ideal base for European firms seeking to scale their operations across the Middle East Africa and South Asia, MEASA, and capitalise on the exponential growth of the region.

The roadshow was led by Essa Kazim, Governor of the DIFC, and Arif Amiri, CEO of the DIFC Authority. The week-long campaign saw high-level strategic meetings in London, Frankfurt, Paris and Zurich.

The events highlighted the strength of the DIFC’s Wealth and Asset Management market, which was reported to be US$424 billion in 2018, equivalent to approximately 30 percent of the GCC’s combined GDP.

Business development meetings, speaking opportunities, networking events and round-table discussions with financial sector leaders and industry stakeholders also took place. These events outlined the DIFC’s strategic plans and roadmap for growth.

During the London leg of the roadshow, the DIFC participated in a series of high-level meetings with UK-based investment partners and liaised with the international law firm, Simmons & Simmons LLP to co-host an event, which focused on raising capital in the Middle East and analysed asset flows through the DIFC.

The DIFC has signed strategic agreements and mutually beneficial partnerships with pivotal FinTech hubs, including Accenture’s FinTech Innovation hub in London, and Paris-based Finance Innovation, France’s official innovation cluster for the financial industry during the last 12 months.

During their time in Frankfurt, the DIFC partnered with Frankfurt Main Finance, the Association of Foreign Banks in Germany, and leading global law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, to host a breakfast, which addressed the future of finance and explored opportunities for growth within the MEASA Region.

Senior DIFC representatives also held meetings with key players and investors in the sector across Zurich to build relationships with key international accelerators and FinTech firms. Key European FinTech firms that have made the centre their MEASA base include Dublin-based software company, Fenergo; InsurTech leaders, Charles Taylor; and Swedish crowdfunding platform, FundedByMe.

Arif Amiri, CEO, DIFC Authority, said, "Our recent visit to Europe was a huge success and reinforced the great interest from financial institutions and corporates looking to grow their business in the fast-growing MEASA markets. There is a huge amount of potential for these firms to capitalise on. Europe remains a core market for the DIFC, whilst 32 percent of financial institutions based in the centre originate from European markets. Therefore, we are always seeking new ways to extend our partnerships with our peers in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Zurich."