DIFC achieves 25% growth in new firms in H1

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a leading international financial hub, made progress on its 2024 strategic priorities and achieved a record number of registrations in the first six months of 2020.


A total of 310 new companies were registered in the first six months of the year, representing an impressive 25% increase from the same period in 2019. This took the total number of active registered companies in the DIFC to 2,584, a significant achievement in light of the global pandemic. 


The total number of companies currently operating in DIFC stands at 2,584 – a 13% increase year-on-year and up 6% on FY2019. 310 new companies were registered during the period, an increase of 25% on prior year.


These achievements paralleled efforts to help clients emerge stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic, contributing to local, regional and global economies, said a statement.


Finance and related innovation industries continued to show their confidence in Dubai as Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region's leading financial and FinTech centre of choice, it said.


The Centre achieved continual growth throughout H1 2020, with an average monthly registration of 52 companies and two record breaking months with 66 company registrations in March 2020 and 88 in June 2020, respectively. DIFC is now home to 820 financial related firms, a 22 percent increase year-on-year and 11% increase on FY2019.


Focus on innovation

Representing DIFC’s focus on innovation and technology, FinTech organisations continued to be a significant area of growth. 87 FinTech firms joined the centre’s already impressive technology and innovation ecosystem, boosting the number of licensed FinTech firms by 74% from H1 2019.


Notable new financial services firms include TATA Asset Management, Samba Financial Group, Gazprombank, Funding Souq, Brookfield Private Capital (upgrade) and Decimal Factor Middle East, whilst new FinTechs include Ripple and KoFax Me Ltd.


DIFC also launched a comprehensive stimulus package during the Covid-19 period aligned with Dubai Government’s economic stimulus programme.


Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the DIFC, said: “The Dubai International Financial Centre’s ability to maintain a high momentum of growth despite the global repercussions of the pandemic reflects the Centre’s strong fundamentals and its high levels of preparedness to navigate unforeseen crises, supported by Dubai’s broader economic stability, adaptability and spirit of resilience. DIFC’s sustained expansion also proves its ability to offer partners constructive solutions to deal with uncertain circumstances as well as its robust governance, regulatory framework and infrastructure. Furthermore, the strong results demonstrate the trust that stakeholders and partners have in Dubai and DIFC even amidst unfavourable global economic conditions.”


Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, commented: “The sustained growth delivered during the first half of 2020 is testament to the resilience of the Centre. The performance demonstrates the confidence the industry has in DIFC. As we enter a new period of digital transformation and operate within a ‘new normal’, we will continue to play a key role in contributing to the economy. DIFC will continue to demonstrate our forward-thinking approach to ensure we shape the future of finance, whilst attracting the world’s leading firms, inspirational startups and the best talent.”


Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, said: “During the first six months of 2020, the Centre continued to report progress on its 2024 targets. DIFC remained focused on accelerating its reputation as a leading global financial centre and one of the world’s foremost FinTech and innovation hubs. During H1 2020, DIFC delivered a series of record-breaking months for registrations. This was achieved whilst we supported our clients during the global challenges of COVID-19. We would like to thank them for the trust they have in Dubai and DIFC.”


FinTech at the forefront

The first half of 2020 saw DIFC FinTech Hive triple in size with the opening of a larger space in Gate Avenue supporting start-ups, scale-ups and entrepreneurs. The expanded space further boosts DIFC’s dynamic ecosystem, providing businesses with access to funding as well as mentorship, knowledge-sharing and collaboration with leading global financial institutions.


The growth in the FinTech sector has enhanced the centre’s reputation as one of the world’s most advanced financial centres and reinforces Dubai’s position as a top international Financial Innovation Lab, as listed by Global Finance.


The Centre achieved a record number of applications to the fourth cohort of the award-winning FinTech Hive accelerator programme. The 2020 cohort received more than 600 applications, an increase of 46% year-on-year. These applications were from start-ups operating in the RegTech, Islamic FinTech, InsurTech and broader FinTech sectors.


Investing in future pioneers

DIFC continued to advance its comprehensive start up proposition by investing in four FinTech companies. The investments were made as part of the $100 million DIFC FinTech Fund launched in 2019 to help start-up and growth stage FinTech companies scale up. The four companies, FlexxPay, Go Rise, NOW Money and Sarwa focus on payments and robo-advisory. - TradeArabia News Service


Source: http://www.tradearabia.com/news/BANK_370502.html


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