Dubai has moved to consolidate its reputation as the region’s most important financial hub with the announcement of a major expansion of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), which will see the existing precinct triple in size.
DIFC currently boasts the largest concentration of international banks, investment firms, insurance companies and other financial consultancies serving the Middle East and North Africa region. More than 2,000 companies are housed in the precinct employing 22,000 full-time finance professionals.
The expansion, dubbed DIFC 2.0, will add 13 million square feet of space to the existing site, and will focus specifically on attracting firms specialising in FinTech and innovation.
The strategy ties in with Dubai’s plan to become the world’s smartest city by 2021. The Smart Dubai strategy is the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
DIFC 2.0 will house 6.4 million square feet of office space, 2.6 million square feet of creative space, 1.5 million square feet of serviced accommodation, 1.3 million square feet of retail space, 700,000 square feet of leisure space and a number of hospitality outlets.
It will also house the region’s first major financial campus, which will span an area of 400,000 square feet, and 3.5 million square feet of car parking space.
"The next phase of our development will translate into further growth for the regional financial services landscape. We are excited to continue working alongside our vibrant community, which includes some of the most prominent global financial institutions, to evolve our offering and to support the development of the financial services industry across the MEASA region," commented Essa Kazim, governor of DIFC.