Dubai International Financial Centre.

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The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a special economic zone in Dubai covering 110 ha, established in 2004 and a financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) markets. DIFC has its own independent, internationally regulated regulator and judicial system, common law framework, global financial exchange, tax-friendly regime, and a large business community. The district houses hundreds of financial institutions, including wealth funds and private investors, but it also hosts multinationals, retail outlets, cafés, restaurants, residential space, public green spaces, hotels and art galleries. DIFC is one of Dubai's independent free-zones; it offers companies 100% ownership without the need for a local partner. The district is governed by a common-law framework distinct from the UAE legal system, with laws and regulations issued in English. DIFC offers clients a 50-year guarantee of zero taxes on corporate income and profits, complemented by the UAE’s network of double taxation avoidance treaties. The DIFC is an independent jurisdiction under the UAE Constitution, with its own civil and commercial laws distinct from those of the wider UAE. DIFC laws and regulations are written in English and default to English law in the event of an ambiguity. The DIFC also has its own courts, with judges taken from leading common law jurisdictions including England, Singapore and Hong Kong. The DIFC’s independent jurisdiction extends to a range of areas including corporate, commercial, civil, employment, trusts, and securities law matters. Other laws of the UAE or the Emirate of Dubai, such as criminal law and immigration regulations, continue to apply within the DIFC. The DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre is an independent centre of international arbitration that uses rules modelled on the London Court of International Arbitration. The principal governing body of the DIFC is the DIFC Authority. The financial services regulator is the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which regulates the conduct of financial services in and from the DIFC. The DFSA is distinct from the UAE’s federal Securities and Commodities Authority, whose jurisdiction covers the wider UAE outside the boundaries of the DIFC.


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