The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), ranked as the world's fastest-growing international financial centre, contributed 12.1 per cent to Dubai’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013 with the contribution of financial services sector being over 15 per cent, according to DIFC Governor.
“Contribution of financial services sector in general and DIFC in particular was very significant to the overall economic growth of Dubai. While Dubai’s GDP grew at an average rate of 3.1 per cent between 2000 and 2013, the financial services sector grew at an average rate of over 15 per cent,” Essa Kazim said, who is also the Chairman of DIFC Authority.
In 2013, the number of active registered companies stood at 1,039; 55 new financial services firms, including Bank of London and the Middle East, Napier Park Global Capital, Carnegie Asset Management, Samena Capital and Wells Fargo, joined the Centre.
The combined workforce of companies jumped by 11 per cent to 15,600 compared to the previous year, representing over 131 nationalities.
“The growth that DIFC experienced in 2013 was the highest achieved since the beginning of the global financial crisis. We have created one of the best working environments in the world, attracting best companies and talent from across the globe,” said Jeffrey Singer, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority.
DIFC is now the location of choice for 22 of the world’s top 30 banks, 11 of the world’s top 20 money managers, six of the top 10 insurance companies, and seven of the top 10 legal firms, Singer said.
As of December 31, 2013, occupancy of DIFC-owned commercial offices in the Gate District (Gate Building, Gate Precinct and Gate Village) was 99 per cent of leasable space (total commercial office space: 1.3 million square feet), with 99 per cent occupancy rates of DIFC-owned retail space (total retail space: 230,000 square feet) .
The occupancy within third party owned office space managed by DIFC under the property lease management agreement was 97 per cent (total PLMA area: 513,000 square feet). The net commercial office space leased in 2013 was approximately 245,000 square feet.
In order to meet the growing demand in DIFC, around 877,553 square feet of gross floor area (GFA) of space was made available in the Centre.
“There was enough space available in DIFC to accommodate an additional workforce of 15, 600,” Singer added.