Job opportunities at Dubai’s financial hub, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), have reached a ten-year high as company registrations surged, according to new data. 

The free zone, which posted its highest annual revenue and operating profit last year, recorded 996 new company registrations in 2021, the highest ever recorded in a single year and a 36 percent increase over the levels seen in 2020. 

Last year’s company openings brought the total number of active registered firms operating in DIFC to 3,644, up by 25 percent from 2,919 in 2020. 

With more companies opening, job numbers have also increased. Employment in DIFC grew by 11 percent to 29,700, registering a net increase of around 3,000 workers – the highest growth in more than ten years. 

These jobs represent a high-skilled workforce from 150 nationalities. 

Companies in DIFC 

In a statement, DIFC said it has seen a significant increase in the number of businesses looking to set up shop in the financial centre. “The growth in company numbers is more than triple the average number across the last decade,” it said. 

The financial hub is now home to several key market players, including 17 of the world’s top banks, five of the top ten insurance firms, five of the top ten asset managers and several leading global law and consulting firms, among others. 

“Significant growth has been achieved across business sectors, including banking, capital markets, wealth and asset management and professional services,” DIFC said. 

The number of company registrations in the fintech and innovation sectors alone went up from 303 in 2020 to 503 last year. 

DIFC’s 2021 revenue rose by 16 percent to 897 million dirhams ($244.2 million). Operating profit for the year reached 573 million dirhams, up by 26 percent from the 457 million dirhams recorded in 2020. 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

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