Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), is one of the world’s leading financial centres and home to the largest, most developed FinTech ecosystem in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region. The region comprises 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and a nominal GDP of US$ 7.7 trillion. DIFC boasts more than 25,600 professionals working across over 2,400 companies in the Centre, including the leading regional and global players in the financial services industry. DIFC’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.
Dubai is working towards cementing its position as a pivotal economic and commercial hub for the region to ensure Dubai’s sustained prosperity and accelerate the development journey of the emirate. Developing the financial sector is a priority that supports the economic future of Dubai, and further enhances investor confidence given the vital contribution it makes to Dubai’s economy mainly through the DIFC, which provides a growth platform for major international financial institutions.
Dubai continues to undertake unparalleled initiatives to drive the UAE’s future and to support Dubai’s role as an essential component of the global financial system.
- The DIFC has built a reputation for driving the Future of Finance in the MEASA region. The Centre will continue to expand and will become the focal point of the Dubai Future District.
- DIFC has become one of the world’s top 10 FinTech hubs and offers the most comprehensive proposition to start-ups. This ranges from heavily oversubscribed incubation and acceleration programmes through to investing in start-ups.
- Green and sustainable finance is growing. DIFC is part of a Dubai taskforce that will make the Emirate the region’s most sustainable financial destination. The Centre will continue to uncover business and economic growth opportunities. With 70% of MEASA residents having limited or no access to financial services, DIFC is nurturing collaboration opportunities between start-ups and established leading financial firms to deliver solutions to challenges.
- Infrastructure Upgrade. Financial Services is the third largest economic activity contributing to Dubai’s real GDP. The development of infrastructure is continuously reviewed to ensure it is among the best in the world and that it can facilitate the best environment for supporting greater excellence and achievement. DIFC helped Dubai become one of the world’s leading financial centres. The next phase requires the introduction of the latest technologies that can support the growth of various business It is not only trying to meet the requirements of the present time but also be a major contributor to shaping the future of the world’s economy and positively influence greater well-being for the world.
- Digital Transformation. DIFC is continuing to prioritise digital adoption and transformation to enhance connectivity and accessibility in and around the financial hub. The new introductions to the infrastructure will further enable ease of doing business to and from the center, demonstrating DIFC’s understanding of the need to provide even greater convenience for the companies based in the center.
COVID-19 implications on digitisation and connectivity
DIFC has realised the importance of digitisation many years ahead of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The pandemic, however, has played a major role in accelerating the adoption of all the digital channels offered by DIFC with full access to services and connectivity for clients.
A core component of the transformation was launching the next-generation Wi-Fi 6 in partnership with Huawei on 1st November 2019, offering the fastest WLAN technology to date. The new solution was deployed across the public areas in DIFC, reinforcing the Centre’s position as the most advanced financial hub in the MEASA region. As DIFC looks to triple in size by 2024, the launch of Huawei’s Wi-Fi 6 will help the Centre meet its growing connectivity requirements, ensuring its community has access to the latest technology and network, with the capacity to support innovative smart services.
Alya Al Zarouni, Executive Vice President of Operations, DIFC Authority, said: “Connectivity is the key to every aspect of infrastructure development in DIFC – we connect our community, physically and digitally, in the same way we connect the various facets of a financial ecosystem. With the rapidly evolving demands of professionals based in and visitors to the Centre, it’s our responsibility to ensure we are offering the latest technological services. We are incredibly pleased to have launched Wi-Fi 6 in partnership with Huawei and believe it will be a game-changer for the DIFC community.”
Wi-Fi 6 is the fastest WLAN technology to date and powers enterprises forward by dramatically boosting capacity and slashing delay. Its deployment allows a new and improved user experience in dense deployment scenarios compared to that of previous Wi-Fi generations. The network offers four times the system capacity of Wi-Fi 5, four times the concurrent access, and 60% lower transmission latency. Wi-Fi 6 enables ultra-high bandwidth 4K and ultra-HD video conferencing, as well as fast, seamless roaming, and ultra-low 10-millisecond latency for quick VR response.
Complementing the Wi-Fi 6 launch is the DIFC Connect – HID Mobile app, which is designed to enable greater convenience for the Centre’s community and visitors. With features such as digital ID cards and access control, users will be able to connect with one another at the click of a button enabling ease of doing business, whilst still adhering to protected security controls.
Business in DIFC can no longer be confined to the office, Wi-Fi 6 empower users with always-on, anywhere-accessible, reliable Wi-Fi connectivity. It is essential that businesses remain connected to their customers and partners at all times, anywhere and everywhere, encouraging more productive habits.
With access to Wi-Fi 6, both residents and visitors are empowered with the ability to access government websites and make online transactions through their WiFi-enabled devices, in the public areas within DIFC. Mobility at this level drives productivity and efficiency, creating more convenience for users by allowing them to access essential services at any time, for free, making business truly mobile.
Accessibility, transport and infrastructure have proven to be a great strength of DIFC, as noted in the by the Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI). Dubai’s connectivity is a significant factor, enabling organisations to seamlessly service business opportunities locally and in the wider region from the Centre. DIFC’s commitment to digital adoption will allow the Centre to expand and diversify, supporting the latest phase of an ambitious expansion project that will back Dubai’s mission to become a major economic force in the Middle East.