The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial and business hub connecting the region’s emerging markets with the developed markets of Europe, Asia and the Americas, issued its fifth annual Economic Activity Survey Report. The Report provides detailed information on DIFC’s growth, sectorial contribution and level of economic performance of the DIFC sub-economy during 2011 and its contribution to the UAE’s GDP.
DIFC’s Economic Activity Survey Report for 2011 puts the total value added (GDP equivalent) of the Centre’s sub-economy at USD 3.13 billion, up 7% from USD 2.92 billion in 2010. This increases DIFC’s contribution to the UAE’s non-hydrocarbon GDP as estimated by the IMF to approximately 1.4%.
Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIFC Authority, commented: “Today’s report highlights DIFC’s advancement as a global hub of finance and business. We are confident that DIFC will continue to be a catalyst of growth for the region, by providing a platform of world-class infrastructure for financial and business institutions to extend their reach and access new economies.”
The economic survey, undertaken by the DIFC Economics team, is based on international best practices in national accounting, and measures output, intermediate consumption and ultimately the gross value added produced within the DIFC district by entities registered in the Centre. Some 66.4% of DIFC’s client base responded to the survey which represents an increase of 11.2% in the number of reporting entities compared to last year’s survey. The total number of companies based at the Center increased by 5.7% in 2011.
The breakdown of DIFC’s GDP by sector shows that financial activities remain the biggest contributor accounting for 70.3% of total value added, while business services accounted for 28.0%, with the rest attributed to public administration, which includes the DIFC Authority, the DFSA and the DIFC Courts.
This year’s report also included data on the reported total assets of the DIFC sub-economy as of 2011 which were estimated at around USD 115 billion. It also places the paid-up capital of DIFC registered entities at USD 29.5 billion as of end of 2011.
The report’s labour force survey which tracks the employment growth in DIFC as well as the quality, distribution and average pay for its diverse work force, shows that number of employees within the DIFC community grew by 14% to reach 12,945 full time employees of which men represented 65.5%. In 2011, 88% of DIFC’s international, diverse and highly skilled work force was university graduates and post-graduates. The percentage of UAE nationals working in the DIFC was a stable proportion of the total at 2.2%.
The statistical data was compiled using DIFC’s secure, web-based online portal DIFCSTAT, which manages all official and administrative communications between DIFCA and licensed companies (https://www.difcstat.ae/difcstatonline/default.aspx).
Before joining SME Advisor, I worked as a producer/reporter for Forbes Media in New York. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and International Studies at the University of South Florida in the US. I am currently in Dubai working as Sub-Editor for SME Advisor Middle East, which is a business magazine published by CPI. You can follow me on Twitter: @joumanasaad or @SMEadvisorME and (Joumana Saad) or (SME Advisor) on LinkedIn.