DIFC Strengthens Position as Global Hub for World's Wealthiest Families, Individuals

DIFC Strengthens Position as Global Hub for World's Wealthiest Families, Individuals

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region, is a trusted, global hub for many of the world’s wealthiest families and individuals.

Home to more than 120 of the world’s wealthiest families and individuals, with a total net worth exceeding US$1 trillion, DIFC has helped position Dubai as the number one city in MEASA, and among the top 22 cities globally in terms of the wealthiest populations.

According to data published by the World’s Wealthiest Cities Report 2023, Dubai’s population includes over 68,500 HNWIs, or individuals with at least $1 million in liquid assets, 206 centi-millionaires, or those with a net worth of at least $100 million, and 15 billionaires.

DIFC’s status as the deepest financial centre between London and Singapore, with a workforce of over 41,500 and more than 5,500 active registered companies is underpinned by 20 years of consistent growth and a record-breaking year in 2023, which has further encouraged wealth flows to the Centre and Dubai.

Industry leaders convene to celebrate Family Wealth Centre Anniversary

Last year, DIFC launched the first Family Wealth Centre of its kind in the world to advance and grow its thriving ecosystem for global family wealth, and support family businesses as they future proof their growth ambitions and succession plans in Dubai and beyond.

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy highlighted the UAE's prominence as a business and investment hub, aiming to become a regional center for family businesses. Dubai, particularly, serves as a crucial hub for family wealth, with the DIFC Family Wealth Centre playing a vital role in nurturing this ecosystem.

Essa Kazim, Governor, DIFC emphasized Dubai and DIFC's rapid emergence as premier destinations for family businesses globally. As the DIFC Family Wealth Centre marks its first anniversary, it reflects on DIFC's innovative journey and commitment to providing top-notch resources for members, empowering families, and shaping the future of finance.

Top choice for regional and international family businesses

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, emphasized DIFC's role as a global hub for family wealth, driven by its commitment to fostering a conducive ecosystem for the financial sector. DIFC's transparent regulations have earned trust from numerous banks and wealth management firms. The DIFC Family Wealth Centre has attracted interest from over 600 active entities, leading to a surge in family wealth management. Notably, there has been an 81% increase in single family offices and a 12% rise in holding companies in 2023. DIFC's new guide aims to empower families with knowledge on wealth management, governance, and succession planning, further supporting this growth.

Innovative and future-forward jurisdiction

Aligned with the UAE’s vision to help family businesses maximise their contribution to the economy, the DIFC Family Arrangements Regulations were introduced on 31st January 2023 to replace or repeal the Single Family Office (SFO) Regulations. Benefits under the new regulations include a private registry option, which provides families and their Ultimate Beneficial Ownership’s (UBOs) with the highest levels of privacy and confidentiality. The same regulations also provide certification for family businesses in DIFC to support benefits and incentives planned for family businesses in the UAE under UAE Family Business Law.

DIFC Family Wealth Centre – A global knowledge hub for family wealth

The launch and development of the DIFC Family Wealth Centre in 2023, alongside a revised regulatory framework for family businesses, have empowered families to preserve their wealth and legacies through tailored solutions. These include asset allocation, governance, succession planning, Sharia compliance, will registration, and philanthropy. The Centre collaborates with the Innovation Hub to ensure next-generation owners stay abreast of technological advancements. Leveraging DIFC's legal system and access to accredited advisors, family businesses benefit from networking opportunities, educational programs, and cultural events.

A recent MoU with STEP Arabia aims to guide family businesses towards multi-generational success. With family businesses contributing significantly to the UAE's economy, the Centre serves as a vital mechanism for wealth distribution, benefiting the local economy and society at large.

News Source: Emirates News Agency

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