Dubai: The total number of companies registered with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) touched 2,003 at the end of June, up 14 per cent on year, reflecting growing confidence, a DIFC statement said. This compares to 1,853 companies that were present as of December 2017.

The DIFC has been a pivotal hub for tapping growth opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and south Asia (MEASA) — a region with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $7.7 trillion (Dh28.28 trillion).

“Our years of outstanding achievements further strengthen the strong confidence that DIFC’s partners from around the world have both in Dubai and the centre. We are committed to further enhancing these partnerships as we continue to provide our growing community with an integrated platform for growth,” His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said in a statement.

‘Impressive start’

“DIFC is pleased to report an impressive start to 2018. The new clients who have opened in [the] DIFC range from fintech start-ups [that] are supported by our vast ecosystem, through to global industry giants,” Arif Amiri, chief executive officer of the DIFC Authority, said.

The DIFC has about 50 fintech firms and the total funding raised by these start-ups amounted to $10 million.

In terms of major infrastructure investment projects, the Exchange Building was completed, adding 147,000 square feet to the DIFC’s Gate Village complex, with Nasdaq Dubai, companies and retailers all due to start moving in during the second half of 2018.

The DIFC said the Gate Avenue, a Dh1 billion retail development project, is now in the final phase of construction and is expected to be completed later this year.