Dubai has won many global accolades for handling the pandemic and its impact by setting a precedent of building a robust economy simultaneously. The proof of it was evident on Wednesday when Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) reported its best annual performance to date in its history of 17-years.
The performance, reflects the success of strategic measures undertaken to grow the DIFC community under the directives of Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and President of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), contributes significantly to the UAE’s economy and positions the centre as a significant player in the global financial industry.
DIFC achieved its 2024 Strategy growth targets three years ahead of schedule during the first half of 2021, recording 996 company registrations last year, the highest ever recorded in a single year for the centre, a 36 per cent increase from 2020. The growth in company numbers is more than triple the average number across the last decade. The total number of active registered firms operating in DIFC increased by 25 per cent 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 DIFC, increasing by 23 per cent, versus 915 in 2020.
In 2021, DIFC also recorded its highest-ever annual revenue and operating profit. Revenue increased by 16 per cent to Dh897 million year-on-year versus Dh774 million in 2020, and up by 7 per cent from Dh838 million in 2019 (pre-pandemic levels). The increase in revenue and cost control measures resulted in an increase in operating profit. Operating profit for 2021 reached Dh573 million, an increase of 26 per cent versus Dh457 million in 2020 and up by 13 per cent compared to Dh510 million in 2019. For the first time, total assets crossed Dh14.80 billion ($4 billion), which reflects the strong financial position of DIFC.
“DIFC’s best-ever annual performance reflects Dubai’s position at the forefront of global recovery in the financial sector and the broader economy. The centre’s ability to continue building a thriving financial community amidst a rapidly changing international environment demonstrates the far-reaching vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which has enabled the emirate to create a strong economy fuelled by innovation,” said Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
“DIFC’s exceptional results are also a testament to the trust that local, regional and global businesses have placed in the centre as a financial industry hub that promotes growth and business enterprise. DIFC’s continued success has also been driven by the solid and enduring partnerships Dubai has built with leading global financial companies by providing them with the high-quality hard and soft infrastructure needed to raise their competitiveness in an evolving industry.”