New Development in DIFC Likely to Open by 2018

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A brand-new office tower will be built in Dubai’s financial district, Dubai International Financial Centre by 2018, according to a report. The $1 billion development comes thanks to the partnership between Investment Corporation of Dubai – the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, and Canadian property manager Brookfield.

The new office complex, called ICD Brookfield Place, will be constructed near the cluster of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) buildings. The is the first project in DIFC since the 2008 property crush, reported Financial Times, adding that it will comprise of a 50-storey office tower, a hotel, as well as retail outlets. The building should be completed in 2018, when the first tenants will be arriving. However, there is no official confirmation of the news from DIFC, which recently changed certain regulations to attract more wealth-management businesses from the region and Asia.

As with the other core buildings, the new development will be in DIFC financial free zone, which offers companies various benefits such as zero tax rate on income and profits, 100 percent foreign ownership, no restrictions on foreign exchange or capital and profit repatriation, operational support, and business continuity facilities. As an international financial center, DIFC competes with nearby hubs such as the new free zone in Abu Dhabi, but lacks free office space as no new projects have been opened there since the 2008 crisis.

There is huge demand for prime office space in the quarter and the new development is said to answer it, giving plenty of quality offices to regional and international financial businesses. At its 10-year anniversary in November 2014 DIFC announced that 17,000 people in a total of 1,113 active registered companies were working in its complex and by 2018, it plans on hosting 1,700 firms and 20,000 employees. According to the FT report however, new buildings opening this year will offer space for another 15,000 employees.

Since its establishment in 2004, DIFC has turned into one of the world’s leading financial centers and has been fueling the growth of Dubai’s economy. While ten years ago, the contribution of the financial sector to the GDP was 5,5%, it has grown to over 12% today, says the center.

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