DIFC strengthens partnerships with European hubs

Arif Amiri, CEO, DIFC Authority.
Updated 18 September 2019

DIFC strengthens partnerships with European hubs

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a leading financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), has undertaken a roadshow to key financial centers including the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland, led by Essa Kazim, governor of DIFC, and Arif Amiri, chief executive of DIFC Authority. During the week-long campaign, high-level strategic meetings took place in London, Frankfurt, Paris and Zurich, highlighting DIFC as the ideal base for European firms seeking to scale their operations across the MEASA and capitalize on the exponential growth of the region.

The roadshow highlighted the strength of DIFC’s wealth and asset management market, which was reported to be $424 billion in 2018, equivalent to approximately 30 percent of the GCC’s combined GDP. The event also highlighted key milestones achieved by the center during the first half of 2019.

Amiri said: “Our recent visit to Europe was a huge success and reinforced the great interest from financial institutions and corporates looking to grow their business in MEASA markets.


UAQ, Alinma close real estate fund at $4.5bn

Updated 07 December 2019

UAQ, Alinma close real estate fund at $4.5bn

Umm Alqura Company for Development and Construction (UAQ) and Alinma Investment Company announced the successful completion of the launch of the Makkah Real Estate Development Funds, with an investment value exceeding SR17 billion ($4.5 billion). 

The funds are invested in seven hotel towers and two commercial complexes that will be developed within the King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) project in Makkah. It is one of the most significant developmental and urban development projects in the Makkah region. The project includes multiple options including housing and shopping, and provides easy mobility and means of transportation between the project facilities and the central area of the Holy Mosque.    

Yasser Abuateek, CEO of UAQ, said: “This strategic agreement is the first of several diverse investment activities designed to attract leading investment institutions. It confirms the appeal of investing in KAAR, an attractive destination for long-term investments, as well as the trust of the investment and financing community.

“This partnership also sheds light on the strength of Alinma Investment and its success in managing real estate funds, which makes it the ideal partner for implementing the project’s development and urban plan. The project aspires to become one of the modern landmarks in Makkah.”

Abuateek added: “By successfully attracting investments valued at SR17 billion, we will make progress in line with the execution plan for several diverse projects, especially since we have already reached several major milestones, including completion of the pouring and construction of all the concrete blocks for the Makkah Metro tunnels, while in addition we have completed nearly 50 percent of the bridges. Currently, we are working on completing all the unprecedented infrastructure projects that followed the demolition phase, which represent a transformation in the investment, development and preparation of the project’s lands, making it more attractive for development and creating new choices that help upgrade the quality of life for Makkah visitors and residents.”

Acting CEO of Alinma Investment Mazin bin Fawaz Baghdadi said: “We are very happy with the success of the Alinma Real Estate Development Funds together with our partner UAQ. This investment, with the large sum of capital, will play a major role in fulfilling the objectives of the finance sector, while our partnership will contribute to increasing the capacity to accommodate pilgrims and visitors through implementing urban developmental projects in the Makkah region.”

“The funds’ investment objective is to achieve long-term capital growth through the development of the superstructure in various parts of the King Abdul Aziz Road project in Makkah, which are: Five-star international hotels (Taj Hotel and Kempinski Hotel), four-star hotels (Hilton Embassy), three-star hotels (Hilton Garden Inn), apartments (Kempinski Residence), and two malls,” added Baghdadi.