Tuesday, January 08, 2019 10:44AM / By DIFC / Image Credit: Gulf News
Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that Dubai is working towards cementing its position as a pivotal economic and commercial hub for the region in line with the Fifty- Year Charter (See Below) recently announced by His Highness that aims to ensure Dubai’s sustained prosperity and accelerate the development journey of the emirate, the UAE and the region.
His Highness said that 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 Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), which provides a growth platform for major international financial institutions.
HH Sheikh Mohammed also highlighted the role of DIFC in supporting the Eight Principles of Dubai set by His Highness, mainly the one related to the emirate’s position as a business capital and a hub for international investment. “The financial sector remains one of the cornerstones of our economy. We are keen that the development of infrastructure is matched by the development of legislation by continuously reviewing it to ensure it is among the best in the world and that it can facilitate the best environment for supporting greater excellence and achievement,” His Highness said.
Sheikh Mohammed also praised the achievements of DIFC that helped Dubai become one of the leading financial centres in the world. “The next phase requires the introduction of the latest technologies that can support the growth of various business sectors. We are 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. We are confident that Emiratis will be successful in achieving this strategic objective,” His Highness said.
His Highness’ remarks came as he approved a new chapter in the development of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) with the launch of DIFC 2.0. The Centre’s phased growth plan will triple the scale of the leading financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and enable DIFC to drive the future of finance.
During the visit to DIFC, His Highness was accompanied by Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of DIFC His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Governor of DIFC His Excellency Essa Kazim, briefed His Highness about the new expansion which will add a total of 13 million square feet of vibrant and stimulating space to the Centre’s integrated ecosystem. DIFC 2.0 builds on 15 years of achievement that has played a significant role in establishing Dubai’s position as a global financial hub, and a key driver of innovation and entrepreneurship. The new development will provide an international focal point for FinTech and innovation, enhancing the Centre’s reputation as one of the world’s most advanced financial centres.
The development of DIFC 2.0 will commence immediately and will be completed in several stages. Upon completion, the new district will comprise 6.4 million square feet of office space, 2.6 million square feet of creative space, 1.5 million square feet of residences, 1.3 million square feet of retail space and 700,000 square feet devoted to leisure and entertainment. This will be complemented by a financial campus covering approximately 400,000 square feet, an additional 250,000 square feet of hospitality offerings, and 3.5 million square feet of car parking space.
Commenting on the next chapter of the DIFC’s development, His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said: “Under the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai’s government continues to undertake unparalleled initiatives to drive the Emirate’s future and to support Dubai’s role as an essential component of the global financial system. The launch of DIFC 2.0 embodies the eight defining principles upon which Dubai was founded and included in His Highness’ 50-year charter, whilst supporting the government’s efforts to foster an environment in Dubai where innovation and entrepreneurship can thrive. In addition, with the DIFC occupying a strategic position in the region, the next phase of our development will undoubtedly translate into further growth for the regional financial services landscape. Looking ahead, we are excited to continue working alongside our vibrant community, which includes some of the most prominent global financial institutions, to evolve our offering and to support the development of the financial services industry across the MEASA region.”
DIFC, the largest international financial hub in the MEASA region, boasts more than 22,000 professionals working across over 2,000 companies in the district, including the leading regional and global players in the financial services industry.
DIFC 2.0 is an extension of the existing jurisdiction, with direct connections to Dubai’s public transport networks. Embracing a pedestrian lifestyle, the next phase is set apart from conventional city living with underground service paths allowing for the free movement of bikes, pedestrians, cars and smart transportation.
With sustainability remaining a priority for the Centre, the new development will introduce open green spaces that bring together an innovative community within a natural and sophisticated business environment.
The Fifty Year Charter
In the Name of Allah, and praise be to Him!
From Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to the people of Dubai and its residents,
This document represents our pledge and promise, on behalf of myself and the ruling family of Dubai, of what we will undertake to improve the quality of life, develop the community of Dubai, and ensure the future of generations to come.
It is an annual document that I have named ‘The Fifty Year Charter’ to mark my 50th anniversary of assuming my first official post in serving my country, and in the hope of
another 50 years during which we will maintain a city governed by law and bound by the spirit of compassion, love harmony and tolerance. A prosperous city where future generations achieve their dreams and aspirations.
On January 4, 2019, I declare my commitment, as well as the commitment of the ruling family of Dubai, and the commitment of our government and all our teams to the vision presented in this document.
We have divided this document into nine articles in order to facilitate implementation, follow-up, and accountability. This document does not replace the government's strategies, but it is a document that includes some aspects of our vision for the future city of Dubai and the life we wish to maintain for everyone living in this community. We will release The Fifty Year Charter on January 4 each year to announce exceptional projects in Dubai.
Our guidance to everyone is to act in accordance with this charter, and in accordance with the Eight Principles of Dubai document, which we have launched, to ensure continued prosperity. The following are the nine articles, which I will personally observe, and overseen by the Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Article One: Dubai Silk Road
Dubai is destined to be a crossroad between East and West, and between North and South. We have the largest international airport in the world. It connects us with more than 200 cities. Over the next 10 years, more than one billion passengers will pass through our airports. Worldwide, we operate around 80 ports that are connected to hundreds of cities. Our next goal is to build our own Silk Road in cooperation with our friendly neighbors who share our vision. Our region has historically been a region of civilization and trade, and this role must be restored. We will seek to build an international cooperation to support these aspirations.
Article Two: A Geo-Economic Map for Dubai
In the coming phase we will work to develop a geo-economic map for the city of Dubai and set up specialized, integrated economic zones in the whole city. Each geo-economic sector in the city will have its own council, which manages and markets it. Each geographical sector will have its own economic and investment goals. We will monitor the achievement of these goals with transparency. A Governor will be appointed for each economic zone to oversee the achievement of its goals, as well as its progress and success.
Article Three: First Virtual Commercial City
Dubai will lead the establishment of the first virtual commercial city in the region that grants commercial licenses without having to reside in Dubai. The city will allow investors to open bank accounts and grant e-residencies according to best international laws and regulations. We aim to have 100,000 companies in the virtual city.
Article Four: A Central Education File for Every Citizen
We aim to develop a centralized education database for every citizen to document all the academic degrees obtained, classes and training taken, and conferences attended. This will help us design customized educational plans for our citizens that suit their personal skills. We aim to build an educational and learning system that explores and develops people’s skills.
Our goal for our citizens is to have a life-long learning so they can continue to improve their skills and capacities to adapt to the rapid global changes in the world.
Article Five: A Doctor to Every Citizen
We aim to provide citizens with medical consultations 247/through hundreds of thousands of doctors, specialists and medical consultants across the globe. This will be facilitated by smart government application. Our goal is to transform the medical system to bring doctors closer to individuals, enhance awareness, and utilize top medical minds globally to serve the health of our citizens.
Article Six: Free Economic and Creative Zones in Universities
Dubai’s foundation is rooted in trade. We will announce our public and private universities as free zones that allow students to carry out business and creative activities, make these activities part of the education and graduation system, and shape integrated economic and creative zones around the universities. These zones will support students with education, research and funding during the launch of their projects. We want our universities to not only graduate students, but also create companies and employers.
Article Seven: Self-sufficiency in Dubai Homes
We will develop an integrated program to build a comprehensive system that allows at least a tenth of our citizens’ homes to be self-sufficient in terms of water, food and energy.
The achievement of this goal will help change lifestyles and contribute to the preservation of our environment. We aim to create a new economic sector that supports energy, water and food self-sufficiency in the houses of Dubai, for at least a month, to be increased later.
Article Eight: Cooperative Companies in Various Sectors
This is a long-term program, that aims to provide new sources of income to our citizens, improve the quality of some services through privatization, and establishing cooperative companies owned by citizens in a number of vital sectors.
Article Nine: Annual Growth in Philanthropy
Our daily businesses and projects should not let us forget about giving to those who need help. We pledge to increase philanthropic initiatives every year and grow them by at least an equal percentage of our annual economic growth. Charity is indeed a major factor in the happiness of societies and the continuity of progress and prosperity.
These are some highlights of our future vision reflected in a number of practical programs that can be implemented and measured. A new Charter shall be launched in January 4, every year to sustain the welfare and happiness of our society.
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai