Dubai financial services growth second only to Shanghai

Knight Frank tracks Dubai’s decade-long journey to global status

Research by Knight Frank demonstrates that the domestic financial and business services sector in Dubai grew 55.6% in the last decade with only Shanghai (114.3%) outperforming the city.

Over this time period Dubai has also seen itself become a recognised global financial centre; with The Dubai International Financial Centre recently being ranked among top 10 global financial centres in The Banker’s International Financial Centre rankings.

These achievements are underpinned by a zero tax environment/ low rate of tax for financial and oil companies, says the consultancy in the first in a series of short published reports on the city. Currently, it takes just eight days to start a business which is marginally longer than the United States (six days) and the UK (five days), although it is four times more than Hong Kong’s figure.

Finally the UAE has a well-regarded ease of doing business ranking, which has moved up from 26th to 21st out of 190 countries over the last year. Continuing developments in improving business legislations and a maturing market means that this score is likely to continue to improve.

Matthew Dadd, partner, Commercial Leasing & Agency, notes how these developments are encouraging global businesses to use Dubai and the UAE as a base to centre regional operations:

‘’As Dubai and the UAE drives changes in legislation and competitiveness on a global level, we are witnessing companies having a Middle Eastern presence. With reforms including Dual Licencing being introduced, this is allowing companies to locate onshore and offshore businesses from the same physical location thus streamlining operations. This is in addition to improving the overall lifestyle opportunities which the UAE presents to expatriates.’’

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