In a press release dated 8th August 2022, Dubai International Financial Centre
(DIFC), the leading financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region announced the creation of a hub for global and regional family-owned businesses, UHNWIs and Private Wealth Centres.
This initiative complements DIFC’s 2030 strategy objectives, which would enable DIFC to become twofold in size enhancing its economic contribution to the national GDP. The strategy has been meticulously crafted offering support for sustained economic growth to elevate the status of Dubai as a leading global hub for financial institutions and businesses.
A complete range of services and accreditation facilities will be offered to businesses and advisors who comply with the rigorous DIFC standards, laying foundations for improved succession planning as businesses pass on to future generations.
This is the first Global Family Business and Private Wealth Centre (Centre) in the region and worldwide with unique offerings and especially at a time when the Middle East will witness the transfer of huge assets worth approximately AED3.67 trillion or USD 1 trillion, to the next generation over the coming decade.
The initiative is in complete alignment with the commitment of the UAE government to support family businesses, which are continually playing the most pivotal role in spearheading the growth of the country’s economy.
Estimates reveal that in the Middle East only 20% of family businesses are managed by the third generation making it vital to educate this generation who are constantly challenged with wealth management, family dynamics, governance, succession, ownership and strategy for ensuring sound and successful family businesses in the long term.
Global family-owned businesses, ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) and Private Wealth will be brought under one roof through this new scheme and while all are in one hub, it would facilitate the preservation and growth of the sector. Ease of access to a full range of support services would also enable smooth and sound legacy and succession planning of all businesses.
Experts believe that this strategic move would enable the Centre to attract greater numbers of family businesses and UHNWIs from the region and many other parts across the world for DIFC company formation who wish to establish a business presence in Dubai.
DIFC operates independently and through this effort, will provide advisory and concierge services; education and training; high-end networking; undertaking research and issuing publications and providing dispute resolution assistance. Family businesses and wealthy individuals will also be able to benefit from the expertise of a range of partners for making strategic business decisions and will become more confident in running their businesses.
DIFC is the MESA region’s largest financial ecosystem and its common law framework, legal and regulatory infrastructure and flexible range of business structures in compliance with Family office regulations in UAE will benefit all the members.
His Excellency, Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, noted, “Aligning with the UAE Government’s commitment to helping family businesses play a prominent role in our society, DIFC is pleased to be launching the world’s first Family Business and Private Wealth Centre. The UAE has a vast number of family businesses, owned by citizens and residents who contribute to the country’s economy. In the next decade, those families and others in the Middle East are expected to transfer AED3.67 trillion to the next generation, which illustrates the urgent need to provide them with specialist, consolidated support to help them.”
“The launch of the Global Family Business and Private Wealth Centre is another key milestone in the development of DIFC’s wealth and asset management sector. In addition, it embodies DIFC’s long-term commitment to offering quality private wealth management services at par with global standards. The new Centre will play a unique role in guiding family businesses about governance, succession, ownership, wealth, family dynamics and strategy. Our role is crucial to ensure the long-term growth of family businesses,” highlighted Dr Tarek Hajjiri, newly appointed CEO of the Global Family Business and Private Wealth Centre.
The Board of Directors of DIFC Authority accorded the necessary approval and the Global Family Business and Private Wealth Centre was launched on 1 September 2022.