Essa Kazim, the DIFC governor, said the markets in asset management and private banking were large enough to sustain growth plans. Lee Hoagland / The National
Essa Kazim, the DIFC governor, said the markets in asset management and private banking were large enough to sustain growth plans. Lee Hoagland / The National

Dubai International Financial Centre outlines plans to triple in size



The Dubai International Financial Centre is targeting asset management and private banking as growth sectors to help it achieve ambitious expansion goals over the next decade.

The DIFC yesterday announced that it planned to triple in size between now and 2024, aiming for a workforce of 50,000 and 1,000 financial companies, with a big chunk of that growth coming from what it called “deepening the core” activities of the financial centre.

Asset management and private banking were earmarked for expansion – along with banking and capital markets, and reinsurance – as activities that would help to contribute 30 per cent of DIFC’s overall growth in the 10-year period.

Assets under management in the DIFC are forecast to rise to US$250 billion by 2024, from $10.4bn last year, and the balance sheets of member firms to reach $400bn, from the current $65bn.

Essa Kazim, governor of the DIFC, said the markets in asset management and private banking were large enough to sustain DIFC’s growth plans. He envisioned an increase in business from regional family offices and financial institutions as the driver of that growth.

“There is some $7 trillion to $8tn worth of financial assets in the Middle East, but only about $1tn is managed in the region. There is a big market there,” he said.

Mr Kazim said the DIFC was considering further changes in the rules on wealth management and private banking to attract more business.

Abu Dhabi Global Market, the capital’s planned financial free zone, has also identified wealth management and private banking as its initial business focus for its imminent launch.

“It would be good to build a cluster around such financial industries in the UAE. After all we have been able to build two successful airlines here,” said Mr Kazim. Much of the planned growth in the coming decade – about half of the total – would come from DIFC “becoming the hub for the south-south corridor”, said the DIFC.

“Dubai is uniquely positioned at the heart of the south-south corridor for firms looking to serve the Middle East, Africa and South Asia regions,” it said.

The DIFC aims to initiate contacts with key Asian and Middle East banks to attract new business in these sectors, and will seek to attract African banks to “play a role in regional trade and infrastructure” in the middle to longer term.

The growth plan will also aim to “build global relevance” by targeting specialist sectors, in addition to fund management for Asia and the Middle East.

Islamic finance was seen as key to this part of the 10-year plans, which was expected to provide about 20 per cent of the growth.

Mr Kazim said that “continued enhancement of the regulatory and physical infrastructure” of DIFC was an important part of the growth strategy, with the aim of aligning the Dubai Financial Services Authority’s regulatory standards to international standards.

“I am not playing a game of regulatory arbitrage. I will not allow DIFC standards to be lowered to accommodate new business,” said Mr Kazim.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and president of the DIFC, said: “In the short history of its first 10 years, DIFC has established itself as a gateway to growth and opportunity to the region. Over the next decade, our ambition is to broaden and deepen this role.”

fkane@thenational.ae

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Dubai Rugby Sevens

November 30-December 2, at The Sevens, Dubai

Gulf Under 19

Pool A – Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Jumeirah College Tigers, Dubai English Speaking School 1, Gems World Academy

Pool B – British School Al Khubairat, Bahrain Colts, Jumeirah College Lions, Dubai English Speaking School 2

Pool C - Dubai College A, Dubai Sharks, Jumeirah English Speaking School, Al Yasmina

Pool D – Dubai Exiles, Dubai Hurricanes, Al Ain Amblers, Deira International School

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

Apple Mac through the years

1984 - Apple unveiled the Macintosh on January 24
1985 - Steve Jobs departed from Apple and established NeXT
1986 - Apple introduced the Macintosh Plus, featuring enhanced memory
1987 - Apple launched the Macintosh II, equipped with colour capabilities
1989 - The widely acclaimed Macintosh SE/30 made its debut
1994 - Apple presented the Power Macintosh
1996 - The Macintosh System Software OS underwent a rebranding as Mac OS
2001 - Apple introduced Mac OS X, marrying Unix stability with a user-friendly interface
2006 - Apple adopted Intel processors in MacBook Pro laptops
2008 - Apple introduced the MacBook Air, a lightweight laptop
2012 - Apple launched the MacBook Pro with a retina display
2016 - The Mac operating system underwent rebranding as macOS
2020 - Apple introduced the M1 chip for Macs, combining high performance and energy efficiency
2022 - The M2 chip was announced
2023 -The M3 line-up of chip was announced to improve performance and add new capabilities for Mac.

SPEC SHEET: APPLE IPHONE 15 PRO MAX

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Processor: A17 Pro, 6-core CPU, 6-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Memory: 8GB

Capacity: 256/512GB / 1TB

Platform: iOS 17

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MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid

When: April 25, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Allianz Arena, Munich
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 1, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Meg 2: The Trench

Director: Ben Wheatley
Stars: Jason Statham, Jing Wu, Cliff Curtis, Page Kennedy, Cliff Curtis, Melissanthi Mahut and Shuya Sophia Cai
Rating: 2/5

The National selections

Al Ain

5pm: Bolereau
5.30pm: Rich And Famous
6pm: Duc De Faust
6.30pm: Al Thoura​​​​​​​
7pm: AF Arrab​​​​​​​
7.30pm: Al Jazi​​​​​​​
8pm: Futoon

Jebel Ali

1.45pm: AF Kal Noor​​​​​​​
2.15pm: Galaxy Road
2.45pm: Dark Thunder
3.15pm: Inverleigh​​​​​​​
3.45pm: Bawaasil​​​​​​​
4.15pm: Initial
4.45pm: Tafaakhor

How to wear a kandura

Dos

  • Wear the right fabric for the right season and occasion 
  • Always ask for the dress code if you don’t know
  • Wear a white kandura, white ghutra / shemagh (headwear) and black shoes for work 
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton under the kandura as most fabrics are polyester

Don’ts 

  • Wear hamdania for work, always wear a ghutra and agal 
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Company name: Silkhaus

Started: 2021

Founders: Aahan Bhojani and Ashmin Varma

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Property technology

Funding: $7.75 million

Investors: Nuwa Capital, VentureSouq, Nordstar, Global Founders Capital, Yuj Ventures and Whiteboard Capital

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
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0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

RACECARD

6pm: Abu Dhabi Land Forces - Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (Dirt) 1,200m
6.35pm: Dubai Naval Forces - Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,400m
7.10pm: Sharjah Air Force - Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,200m
7.45pm: Ajman Presidential Guard - Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,200m
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9.30pm: Fujairah National Service and Reserve - Handicap (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,400m

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Six tips to secure your smart home

Most smart home devices are controlled via the owner's smartphone. Therefore, if you are using public wi-fi on your phone, always use a VPN (virtual private network) that offers strong security features and anonymises your internet connection.

Keep your smart home devices’ software up-to-date. Device makers often send regular updates - follow them without fail as they could provide protection from a new security risk.

Use two-factor authentication so that in addition to a password, your identity is authenticated by a second sign-in step like a code sent to your mobile number.

Set up a separate guest network for acquaintances and visitors to ensure the privacy of your IoT devices’ network.

Change the default privacy and security settings of your IoT devices to take extra steps to secure yourself and your home.

Always give your router a unique name, replacing the one generated by the manufacturer, to ensure a hacker cannot ascertain its make or model number.

Innotech Profile

Date started: 2013

Founder/CEO: Othman Al Mandhari

Based: Muscat, Oman

Sector: Additive manufacturing, 3D printing technologies

Size: 15 full-time employees

Stage: Seed stage and seeking Series A round of financing 

Investors: Oman Technology Fund from 2017 to 2019, exited through an agreement with a new investor to secure new funding that it under negotiation right now. 

Result

Arsenal 4
Monreal (51'), Ramsey (82'), Lacazette 85', 89')

West Ham United 1
Arnautovic (64')