UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: DIFC launches first global family business and private wealth centre.

As published on zawya.com, Monday 8 August, 2022.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, announced the launch of the first Global Family Business and Private Wealth Centre (Centre) in the region and worldwide.

DIFC is the first financial centre in the world to create a unique offering at a time when an estimated AED3.67 trillion ($1 trillion) in assets will be transferred to the next generation in the Middle East during the next decade.

The initiative aligns with the UAE Government's commitment to support family businesses, which continue to play a prominent role in accelerating the growth of the country’s economy. It is estimated that only 20 per cent of family businesses are managed by the third generation in the Middle East. It is crucial to educate those who face challenges related to governance, succession, ownership, wealth, family dynamics and strategy to ensure a solid family business and long-term success. The initiative is in line with DIFC’s 2030 Strategy objectives, which will enable DIFC to double in size and its economic contribution to Dubai’s GDP. The strategy also supports sustained economic growth and further differentiates Dubai as a global hub for leading financial institutions and businesses.

The Centre will bring together global family-owned businesses, ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) and Private Wealth in one hub to help preserve and grow the sector and provide access to a full range of support services to enable robust legacy and succession planning. The Centre is also expected to attract family businesses and UHNWIs from the region and globally to establish a presence in Dubai.

Operating on an independent basis, the Centre’s extensive remit will include providing advisory and concierge services; education and training; outreach and high-end networking; undertaking research and issuing publications and providing dispute resolution assistance. Additionally, accreditation will be granted to businesses and advisors in alignment with DIFC’s rigorous standards. This will provide confidence to family businesses and wealthy individuals who need to leverage the expertise of a range of partners to make strategic decisions.

Members will also benefit from being part of the region’s largest financial ecosystem, DIFC’s common law framework, legal and regulatory infrastructure and flexible range of business structures.

His Excellency, Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said: “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 grow.”

Dr. Tarek Hajjiri, appointed CEO for the Global Family Business and Private Wealth Centre added: “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 in relation to governance, succession, ownership, wealth, family dynamics and strategy. Our role is crucial to ensure the long-term growth of family businesses.”

The Global Family Business and Private Wealth Centre has been approved by the DIFC Authority Board of Directors and due to launch on September 01,2022.

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