Headcount is tumbling in financial centres across the world, with London and Asia in particular suffering from banks’ appetite to swing the axe. In Dubai, however, 2,000 jobs have been created over the past 12 months.
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has just released its annual review and revealed that it now employs 14,000 people – a 16% increase on the previous year.
The DIFC is not renowned for employing UAE nationals – with locals making up less than 3% of employees in the financial centre – and this remains the case. The largest proportion of people in the centre (37%) are from Europe, followed by those from the wider Middle Eastern region, with 28% of the total. However, more financial professionals from North America moved to Dubai last year – 2,520 people from the continent now work in the DIFC, an increase of nearly 500 on 2011.
Over 60 new companies registered in the DIFC last year, taking the total to 912. New additions include Bank of China Middle East, Abu Dhabi Capital Management and Standard Life. What’s more, growth has come from some unexpected places – UBS, which cut 10,000 jobs at the tail end of 2012, upgraded its licence and increased its activities in Dubai. VTB Capital and wealth manager Bank Sarasin-Alpen (Middle East) also expanded.