Dubai International Financial Centre

Dubai International Financial Centre
Industry Banking, Financial Services
Founded 2002[1], operations started 2004[2]
Headquarters Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Key people

H.E. Abdullah Mohammed Saleh

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a near-shore financial hub for the or Middle East and North Africa (MENA) containing a capital market designated as a financial free zone in Dubai. The centre was designed by Eric Kuhne. It was established to create an environment for growth, progress and economic development in the United Arab Emirates and the wider region by providing the needed legal and business as well as physical infrastructure benchmarked against international standards.


Independent Jurisdiction

The DIFC is an independent jurisdiction under the UAE Constitution, and has its own independent civil and commercial laws, which are written in English and which default to English law. It also has its own courts, with judges taken from the common law world including England, Singapore and Hong Kong. The DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre is an independent centre of international arbitration that uses rules modeled on the London Centre of International Arbitration.

Role as an International Financial Centre

License applications are considered from financial institutions in the sectors. Each of these units offer benefits such as zero tax rate on income and profits, 100 percent foreign ownership, no restrictions on foreign exchange or capital/profit repatriation, operational support and business continuity facilities.

One of the key subsidiaries of the centre is NASDAQ Dubai (Formerly Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX)).


It is a privately held financial exchange that opened in September 2005 as Dubai International Financial Exchange(DIFX) but it was rebranded as NASDAQ Dubai in the year 2008.

The trading hours of NASDAQ Dubai are from 10:00am to 2:00 pm (06:00 am to 10:00 am GMT) from Sunday to Thursday.[3]

Products listed on the DIFX include ordinary shares listed by DP World along with other Damas and DEPA. DP World is the largest IPOs in the Middle East and raised $ 4.96 billion.[4] It was 15x oversubscribed and is one of the most valued companies in the Middle East Region.[5]

NASDAQ Dubai is regulated by Dubai Financial Services Authority [6]

Center of Excellence

The DIFC Center of Excellence was setup in 2009[7], it is a resource center that possesses basic infrastructure required by educational institutes to function. The center comprises 21 seminar rooms, 3 lecture rooms, 2 lecture theaters, a computer lab and library.[8].

The list of Educational Institutes which operate from these facilities is as follows[9]:

S.No. Name Location Established Courses Offered
1 Cass Business School Gate Village 2 2007[10] Executive MBA[10]
2 Duke Fuqua School of Business Gate Village 2 2009[11] MBA, Executive MBA, Advanced Management Program and the Global Leadership Program [11]
3 International Compliance Association Gate Village 2 2008[12] Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance and Financial Crime Prevention Training[12]
4 London Business School Gate Village 2 2007[13] Executive MBA[13]
5 Phoenix Financial Trading Gate Village 2 2006[14] Specialist Financial Training[14]

In addition to the above listed organizations, The Center is also partnered with the following[15]:

  1. International Bar Association
  2. Thomsun Reuters
  3. Dubai Private Equity Network
  4. Amanie Islamic Finance Consultancy and Education
  5. Dubai Private Equity Network
  6. The Schulich School of Business
  7. School of Oriental and African Studies


Smyth Tribeca logo

The Dubai International Financial Center complex has 1 hotel, the Ritz Carlton DIFC[16]. The hotel was announced and construction was started in the year 2006[17], It was designed by architects Gensler[18]. Paris based construction firm Bouygues[17] built the hotel for developers Union Properties[17]. The hotel was scheduled to open in the year 2008[19], however the hotel began operations in January 2011[20].

The 5 star[21] property is located adjacent to the Gate Precinct within the Gate Boulevard district near the Gate Building.It is 14 stories tall and consists of 341 rooms plus 124 serviced apartments, 3 fine dining restaurants 2 lounges and a 1400 square meter ballroom[22]. The hotel covers an area of 2000 square meters[18].

The developers of the hotel, Union Properties, sold it in November 2010 for AED 1.1 Billion in order to reduce debt.[18]

The hotel has a 4.5/5 rating on Tripadvisor[21]

Art Galleries

Dubai International Financial Center is also home to a host of Art Galleries which showcase both local and international Art. This list of Galleries located here is as follows[23][24]:

S.No Gallery Location
1 Art Dubai Gate Village 01
2 ARTSPACE Gate Village 03
3 Ayyam Gallery Gate Village 03
4 Christies Gate Village 05
5 Cuadro Fine Art Gallery Gate Village 10
6 Opera Gallery Gate Village 03
7 The Empty Quarter Gate Village 02
8 The Farjam Collection Gate Village 04
9 XVA Gallery Gate Village 07

The Galleries showcase art from Middle Eastern & International artists, the galleries frequently host events to present new works from different artists. Some of the above Galleries also act as Auction Houses for the sale of Art.

Restaurants & Cafes

There is a variety of 42 cafes and restaurants located in this area featuring local and international chains, the selection of eateries includes everything from fast food outlets to fine dining options. A wide variety of cuisines can be found here.[25]

The list of outlets along with their cuisine and exact location in the area is as follows[26]:

S.No. Outlet Location Cuisine
1 Al Mandaloun The Balcony 03 Lebanese
2 Au Bon Pain The Balcony 02 Cafe
3 Auntie Anne's Marble Walk Cafe
4 Blue Rain Ritz Carlton Thai
5 Cafe Bateel The Balcony 02 Cafe
6 Cafe Florian Gate Village 06 Cafe
7 Cafe Nero The Balcony 02 Cafe
8 Can Can Brasserie Ritz Carlton French
9 Can Can Cafe Rtiz Carlton Cafe
10 Caramel Lounge The Balcony 03 International
11 Caribou Coffee Marble Walk Cafe
12 Center Cut Steak House Ritz Carlton Australian
13 Costa Coffee The Balcony 02 Cafe
14 Debauve & Gallais Marble Walk Chocolatier
15 Dome Cafe The Balcony 05 Cafe
16 Freshii Marble Walk International
17 Gazebo Marble Walk Indian
18 Gloria Jeans Marble Walk Cafe
19 Gourmet Burger Kitchen Marble Walk American
20 Joga Juice The Balcony 03 Juice Bar
21 Kitsch Cupcakes Marble Walk Cupcakes
22 La Petite Maison Gate Village 08 French
23 Lobby Lounge & Terrace Ritz Carlton Cafe
24 Mado Marble Walk Cafe
25 MORE The Balcony 04 Cafe
26 No. 5 Lounge & Bar Ritz Carlton Bar
27 Pinkberry Marble Walk Yogurt
28 Potbelly Marble Walk Sandwiches
29 Robertos Ristorante Gate Village 01 Italian
30 Royal China The Balcony 04 Chinese
31 Sana Bonta Marble Walk Italian
32 Starbucks The Balcony 05 Cafe
33 Subway Marble Walk Sandwiches
34 The Gramercy The Balcony 03 Bar
35 The Lunch Box Marble Walk Cafe
36 The Noodle House Marble Walk Asian
37 u fuel Gate Village 05
38 Xqueezit Precinct Building 2 Juice Bar
39 Yo Sushi The Balcony 03 Japanese
40 Zuma Gate Village 06 Japanese
41 1762 Appetite The Balcony 05 Cafe
42 Scuzi? Marble Walk Italian


Within the DIFC complex are located a variety of retail shops and convenience stores along with Business Services outlets. The list of the stores located within this area is as follows: [27]

S.No Outlet Location Type
1 Andrew Martin Gate Village 7 Furniture
2 Aliel Gate Village 01 Jeweler
3 Ascots & Chapels Marble Walk Tailor
4 AVIS Marble Walk Car Rental
5 Axiom Telecom Marble Walk Telecom
6 Beautech Gate Village 08 Beauty Salon
7 Bespoke Marble Walk Tailor
8 Boots The Balcony 05 Pharmacy
9 Borders The Balcony 05 Books
10 Business Solutions LLC Marble Walk Stationary
11 Champion Cleaners The Balcony 02 Laundry
12 DESCO Printers The Balcony 04 Printing
13 Emirates Post Marble Walk Postal
14 Etisalat The Balcony 05 Telecom
15 FedEx Express Marble Walk Postal
16 Fitness First Marble Walk Fitness
17 Flower Boutique Marble Walk Flowers
18 CONTEMPO Gate Village 05 Flowers
19 Hummingbird Early Leaning Center The Balcony 05 Children
20 Lunettes House of Quality Optics The Balcony 05 Optical
21 M.A.H Centre Marble Walk Beauty Salon
22 Marina Center Pharmacy Marble Walk Pharmacy
23 Momentum Marble Walk
24 New Center Marble Walk
25 N Style The Balcony 02 Beauty Salon
26 Ordning & Reda The Balcony 02 Design
27 Proof Woody FZ LLC Marble Walk Cafe/News Kiosk
28 Rivoli Marble Walk Luxury Goods
29 Sharaftravel Marble Walk Travel Agent
30 Spectrum Digital Print Solutions Marble Walk Priting
31 The Clinic Gate Village 07 Healthcare
32 The Health Club Ritz Carlton
33 Ritz Carlton Spa Ritz Carlton Spa
34 The Rug Company Gate Village 02 Carpets
35 The Shoe Shine Co Marble Walk Shoes
36 Toni & Guy Marble Walk Salon
37 u energy Gate Village 04 Fitness
38 Urban Male Lounge The Balcony 02 Spa
39 Visual Optics Marble Walk Optics


  1. ^ DIFC announces project overview for real estate development | DIFC |
  2. ^ The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is open for business | DIFC |
  3. ^ "NASDAQ Dubai". NASDAQ Dubai. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  4. ^ "Clifford Chance advises on the largest ever IPO in the Middle East | Clifford Chance". Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  5. ^ "DP World nets $4.9bn in region’s biggest IPO - Money Matters". 2007-11-21. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  6. ^ NASDAQ Dubai
  7. ^ DIFC Centre of Excellence unveils fully equipped Resource Centre | DIFC |
  8. ^ Centre of Excellence
  9. ^ Education | Dubai International Financial Centre
  10. ^ a b Cass Business School launches world's first Executive MBA offering a specialism in Islamic Finance in association with DIFC | DIFC |
  11. ^ a b Duke University sets up Dubai Campus at DIFC | DIFC |
  12. ^ a b International Compliance Association sets up office in DIFC | DIFC |
  13. ^ a b London Business School launches Dubai Centre at the DIFC | DIFC |
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ Centre of Excellence
  16. ^ Ritz-Carlton launches first hotel at Dubai International Financial Centre | Travel and Tourism |
  17. ^ a b c Bouygues hits Dubai with Ritz-Carlton job -
  18. ^ a b c Union Properties finalizes sale of Ritz Carlton Hotel at DIFC | Union Properties (UP) |
  19. ^ Ritz-Carlton heads for DIFC - Travel & Hospitality -
  20. ^ New Ritz-Carlton to Open January 2011 at Dubai International Financial Centre
  21. ^ a b The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, International Financial Centre (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) - Hotel Reviews - TripAdvisor
  22. ^ World Trade Centre Hotel in Dubai: The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai Intl. Financial Centre
  23. ^ DIFC Galleries Night | Dubai International Financial Centre
  24. ^ Art & Culture | Dubai International Financial Centre
  25. ^ Cafés & Restaurants | Dubai International Financial Centre
  26. ^ Dubai Restaurants, Online menu Guide, Dubai Cuisines, Dubai Menu Guide –
  27. ^ Retail & Convenience | Dubai International Financial Centre

External links

Coordinates: 25°12′51″N 55°16′53″E / 25.21417°N 55.28139°E / 25.21417; 55.28139

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