New Opportunities at Dubai International Financial Centre Through Expanded Prescribed Company Regime

  • Expanded Prescribed Companies Regime available to wider range of applicants
  • The expansion aligns with international best practices and local market requirements

Dubai, UAE, 9th September 2020: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has expanded the applicant criteria for its successful Prescribed Companies regime.

The expanded Prescribed Company regime is expected to attract companies to establish structures at DIFC that align with international best practice.

DIFC initially introduced a Prescribed Company regime in 2019, providing cost effective options for firms seeking to use structures from the DIFC, backed by the region’s leading legal and regulatory frameworks. They have been available to companies ranging from family offices, to FinTech entities to Government bodies as well as regulated financial firms. The Prescribed Company regime has been used for structured financing, aviation financing, crowd funding and to hold and manage assets.

The expanded Prescribed Company regime is open to all DIFC non-retail companies, along with their shareholders, UBO’s (Ultimate Beneficiary Owners) and affiliates. It can now also be used by family businesses with a large presence in the UAE.

Prescribed Companies benefit from having flexible office options and can choose from using co-working space or to share offices with a DIFC registered affiliate or Corporate Service Provider. Prescribed Companies also benefit from lower incorporation and annual license fees, and reduced compliance obligations, whereby they are not required to have their accounts audited or filed with the DIFC Registrar of Companies. In addition, prescribed companies are eligible to hire staff and issue visas.

Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer, DIFC Authority commented: “Since the introduction of the Prescribed Company regime during the last quarter of last year, more than 200 prescribed companies have been established at the Centre. By expanding the existing regime, we are offering more businesses the opportunity to manage their company structures cost effectively whilst aligning to world-class standards. DIFC is becoming a more accessible jurisdiction for businesses looking to tap into the MEASA region and its booming opportunities. The regime allows businesses to streamline their structures, supported by DIFC’s leading legal and regulatory framework, further enhancing the legal and regulatory framework at the Centre, which continues to be the most sophisticated and business-friendly Common Law jurisdiction in the region.”

About Dubai International Financial Centre

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the world’s most advanced financial centres, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which comprises 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and a nominal GDP of USD 7.7 trillion.

With a 16-year track record of facilitating trade and investment flows across the MEASA region, the Centre connects these fast-growing markets with the economies of Asia, Europe and the Americas through Dubai.

DIFC is home to an internationally recognised, independent regulator and a proven judicial system with an English common law framework, as well as the region’s largest financial ecosystem of more than 25,000 professionals working across over 2,500 active registered companies – making up the largest and most diverse pool of industry talent in the region.

The Centre’s vision is to drive the future of finance. Today, it offers one of the region’s most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, including cost-effective licensing solutions, fit-for-purpose regulation, innovative accelerator programmes, and funding for growth-stage start-ups.

Comprising a variety of world-renowned retail and dining venues, a dynamic art and culture scene, residential apartments, hotels and public spaces, DIFC continues to be one of Dubai’s most sought-after business and lifestyle destinations.

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