DIFC hosts the official launch of the world’s first dedicated centre for family wealth
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, today hosted the official launch of the world’s first dedicated centre for family wealth.
Aligned with the UAE’s vision to help family businesses maximise their contribution to the economy, the DIFC Family Wealth Centre will play a significant role in supporting family businesses to achieve growth and prosperity across generations. The newly enacted UAE Family Business Law and DIFC Family Arrangements Regulations will support the DIFC Family Wealth Centre’s activities.
His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE and President of DIFC, commended DIFC’s commitment to raising the economic contribution of family businesses. “Dubai recognises the vital role family businesses play in diversifying the UAE’s economy. As the next generation takes on the responsibility for growing their family wealth, DIFC’s experience and expertise will enhance their ability to achieve their future ambitions. By leveraging DIFC’s expertise and knowledge, family businesses in Dubai can thrive, benefitting the economy and creating new employment opportunities,” he said.
The invitation-only launch event was themed around the future of family businesses and private wealth. His Excellency Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Cabinet Member and UAE Minister of Economy, delivered a keynote speech at the event in which he highlighted growth opportunities for family businesses and the support they need to maximise their potential.
His Excellency Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Cabinet Member and UAE Minister of Economy, said in his speech that the launch of the Family Wealth Centre in Dubai International Financial Centre further supports the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to preserve and develop the family business sector in a sustainable manner. He further stated that this launch is also aligned with the UAE's initiatives to promote the growth of family businesses and attract large wealth owners. His Excellency also emphasised that the UAE government is committed to intensifying its efforts to support family businesses as key partners in the country's sustainable development process over the next fifty years, to attract global wealth to the country through this promising economic model.
The launch of the DIFC Family Wealth Centre was attended by High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs), Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals (UHNWIs), heads of family enterprises, wealth and money managers, and senior officials of private banks and leading professional service providers.
A panel discussion at the event discussed key factors driving the influx of family wealth into the UAE and the strategies family businesses can follow to navigate a rapidly changing world. Panelists included HE Ayesha Mohammed Saeed Rashed Al Mulla, Member of the Federal National Council and Board Member of MSA Holdings; HE Dr. Ahmad Hasan bin Al Shaikh, Managing Director at Hassan Bin Al Shaikh Industries; Essam Tamimi, Chairman at Al Tamimi & Company; Chuck Long, Head of International, Global Family Office at BNY Mellon; Mishal Kanoo, Chairman of The Kanoo Group; Amin Nasser, Senior Advisor from PwC Family Business Advisory; and Dr. Tarek Hajjiri, the CEO of the DIFC Family Wealth Centre. The session was moderated by Alastair Glover, Chairman of STEP Arabia, and Partner and Head of Private Wealth Middle East at Trowers & Hamlins.
His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said: “Family businesses play a crucial role in many economies across the world. They contribute 60 per cent of the region’s GDP and employ 80 per cent of the workforce. DIFC has created the Family Wealth Centre to help family businesses maximise their contribution to the UAE economy and other economies around the world. As the first initiative of its kind in the world, we will become the global benchmark for providing a framework for family businesses and the partners they rely on.”
Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC, commented: “DIFC is the region’s most experienced hub for supporting global and regional family-owned businesses; and High-Net-Worth and Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals. The DIFC Family Wealth Centre provides a holistic solution for family businesses and enables them to grow their legacy for generations to come. As demonstrated through today’s inaugural event, the Centre is a key part of DIFC’s long-term commitment to offering quality private wealth management services at par with global standards.”
DIFC is the first financial centre in the world to create a unique offering for family businesses at a time when an estimated AED3.67 trillion (USD 1 trillion) in assets will be transferred to the next generation in the Middle East during the next decade.
As part of the offering, the Centre provides certification for family businesses relating to their governance, ESG standards and other best practices. Family businesses can access a trusted network of accredited professional advisors who are experts on family business matters such as succession planning; international legal and tax advisory; ESG and sustainability advice; relevant education and leadership programmes; and dispute resolution.
Recognising that families need to be able to focus their time and energy on developing their business, the Dubai Family Wealth Centre provides concierge services to support their operations. Members also benefit from being part of the region’s largest financial ecosystem, DIFC’s common law framework, legal and regulatory infrastructure and flexible range of business structures.
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