News Middle East10 Mar 2020

UAE:DIFC-based insurers chalk up GWP of nearly US$2bn in 2019

10 Mar 2020

Gross Written Premiums for the insurance entities at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), reached nearly $2bn in 2019, representing a growth of 17.4% over 2018, a statement from the centre said.

In addition, DIFC’s wealth and asset management (WAM) industry was worth $424bn, of which $99bn was invested by DIFC portfolio managers.

At the end of 2019, total banking assets booked in DIFC stood at $17bn, up by 13% from 2018. An additional $99bn of lending was also arranged by DIFC firms.

DIFC, an international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, also announced that the number of firms in the centre reached 2,437 at 31 December 2019, an increase of 14% from 2018.

In total, the Centre is home to 737 active financial firms, representing an 18% increase since 2018, and 64% growth in five years.

The DIFC, which attracted a record-breaking 493 new businesses in 2019, now counts 17 of the world’s top 20 banks, three of the top five insurance companies, six of the top 10 asset managers and eight of the 10 leading global law firms, among its clients, according to an official statement.

The sustained growth has ensured the Centre continues to attract local and international talent. The DIFC contributed to the creation of 2,034 new jobs, increasing the combined workforce to more than 25,600 professionals, up 9% compared to 2018, representing more than 140 nationalities.

In 2019, DIFC signed seven new strategic partnerships with international entities including The Chartered Insurance Institute, Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation and The Protocol School of Washington. DIFC Academy now enjoys agreements with 26 leading educational institutions and government entities.

Strategy

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and president of the DIFC, said,“Both the DIFC’s expansion and its ability to reinforce its status as a hub for the world’s largest financial institutions are all the more exceptional considering the current stagnant growth in the global financial industry.”

Mr Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said, “We have mapped out a strategy for DIFC that has confirmed our place in the global network of world financial centres and is supporting innovation, trade and investment throughout MEASA region. By providing a stable well-regulated platform for businesses in the region to thrive, we will also be able to increase significantly the contribution we make to Dubai’s dynamic economy.

He added, “The rapid growth of young tech firms setting up in DIFC is validation of our strategy to help start-ups to grow by providing access to capital, talent and mature partners with established networks. We are developing a tech ecosystem that will enable tomorrow’s entrepreneurs to flourish.”

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