DIFC opens up to family-run businesses
Dubai, September 2, 2008
The Dubai International Financial Centre has announced new regulations that encourage family-run businesses to set up holding companies at the DIFC.
Family-run businesses make up over 75 per cent of companies in the Middle East and have total assets in excess of $1 trillion, according to Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the DIFC.
'In recent times, family offices have become highly significant on the global economic landscape. The need for a specialised legal and regulatory framework is especially acute,' said Dr Sulaiman.
Created in consultation with the DFSA, the DIFC Single Family Office (SFO) regulations, effective September 2, provide a platform for wealthy families to set up holding companies at DIFC and manage private family wealth and family structures anywhere in the world.
'In contrast to conventional financial institutions, Single Family Offices (SFOs) have no direct public liability as all their shareholders are bloodline descendants of a common ancestor. As such, their regulatory requirements differ significantly,' said Dr Sulaiman.
'By establishing the new regulations, DIFC is once again reaffirming its commitment to family businesses and the development of DIFC into a hub for local, regional and international family offices.'
The new regulations were announced following consultation with companies invited to comment on the proposal.
Single Family Offices (SFOs) will now be excluded from many of the regulatory constraints placed on conventional organisations located at DIFC. - TradeArabia News Service