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The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has unveiled ambitious plans to carry on its growth momentum. The financial hub is hoping to double its floor space, the number of people working in the center and the number of companies operating from its premises in the next 10 years.
DIFC currently has around 15.2 million square feet of office, retail, hotel and residential space. Around 17,000 people are employed in 1167 companies, which operate out of DIFC.
Located in the central business district of Dubai, DIFC completes 10 years of operations this year. It is one of the most sought-after locations of office space. Riding on the rising demand, a new business center of 11,000 square feet is coming up. The commercial space owned by DIFC at its Gate District has 100 per cent occupancy.
In the first six months of 2014, DIFC has witnessed impressive growth. A total of 111 new commercial licenses have been issued with 15 new retailers setting up shop. About 33 new financial companies and 35 non-financial firms were registered in the first six months of this year. A couple of hotels, including a luxury boutique hotel, are also being planned at DIFC.
A salient feature of DIFC is the autonomy it enjoys in terms of having its own set of civil and commercial laws. It has an independent judicial setup with the DIFC Courts responsible for the enforcement of justice.
The courts have exclusive jurisdiction over all civil and commercial disputes arising within DIFC and entities registered in this financial zone. Like other free zones in the UAE, it has no restrictions on foreign ownership and is a tax-free business hub.
• An 11,000-square foot business center is being built at DIFC
• The free zone has its own judicial system that enforces rules
• The floor space within DIFC is set to double in the next 10 years
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer