DIFC’s Venture Capital Fund framework is a popular choice for local and international investors looking to set up funds with better benefits, more opportunities, and lower set-up costs.
Dubai ranks as one of the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking countries, and when it comes to financial innovation, Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) leads the way. The centre is regularly listed as one of the top 20 Global Financial Institutions, often named alongside New York, Hong Kong, London, and Singapore.
DIFC is an onshore financial centre well known for offering a secure and efficient platform for organisations, businesses, and financial institutions who want to reach key markets across Africa, The Middle East, and Asia. As a leading regional international financial hub, DIFC provides a range of benefits to the nearly 30,000 professionals and 4,000 active companies within its vibrant ecosystem. Across those 4,000 companies, a truly diverse range of services is offered, including Private Banking, FinTech, Fund Growth, and Venture Capital, to name a few.
Dubai is home to one-third of all Middle East and North Africa investors, 232 venture capital funds and venture capitalists, and $1.2bn in funding UAE-based start-ups. When you look at venture capital as a percentage of GDP, Dubai and the UAE lead the way ahead of the UK, USA, and China, and DIFC is on a mission to significantly grow this number. In DIFC’s own words, the ‘venture capital environment in Dubai is flourishing’.
Why establish a VC fund in DIFC?
DIFC’s strategic drive to grow venture capital funds and venture capitalists in Dubai has led to Dubai developing a framework that increases opportunities for many worldwide to establish their venture capital funds in DIFC. The financial centre promotes venture capital set-up as ‘the most simple and quickest way to establish a VC fund in the UAE’, offering a range of unique benefits to entice potential investors. These include:
- A one-week turnaround using a fully digital and automated process
- Over 60% subsidised set-up costs
- Zero fees for the DIFC ROC commercial licence for the first two years
- Zero regulatory capital requirements
- Waived functions to streamline the process
- Token ownership allowance
- Access to the AED 1 Billion Future District Fund
The DIFC venture capital framework opens up a significant source of funding and attracts international investors looking for lucrative opportunities. To support this, DIFC has created a dedicated Innovation Hub, currently home to over 600 growth-stage tech firms, such as fintech, innovation companies, digital labs, venture capital firms, and educational institutions. Fund Managers looking to join the community can get a dedicated space within the 80,000 sq ft Innovation Hub from $500p/m.
The pedigree of the organisations within the Innovation Hub is impressive. Existing tenants include cutting-edge growth-stage start-ups Tabby, Beehive, YAP, Xpence, Stake, Rain, and Bayzat, as well as global organisations, including Huawei and Amazon. DIFC also actively supports its financial ecosystem, offering workshops, events, co-working spaces, and networking opportunities, creating valuable opportunities.
While DIFC has worked to streamline the registration process and remove hurdles, there are still several vital stages you must navigate to set up in DIFC. Ensuring your application and supporting documents are in order will reduce unnecessary delays or potential application rejections.
At DTOS, we have worked with many firms looking to set up their business in DIFC. We ensure you are ready to go from day one without unexpected delays, and we work with our clients on a fixed-fee consultative basis, so there are no hidden costs.
Get in touch today to find out how DTOS can help you set up and launch your business or venture capital fund in the UAE.
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