Banking & Finance DIFC has nearly 60 hedge fund firms waiting to be licensed By Reuters February 21, 2023 Wam The hedge fund industry is capitalising on new rules and regulations that have been developed to support the sector The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has about 60 hedge fund firms, with north of a trillion dollars in assets under management, waiting to be licensed, the governor of the emirate’s financial free zone said on Monday. The hedge fund industry is capitalising on new rules and regulations that have been developed to support the sector, which is one of the sources of DIFC’s growth, Essa Kazim told reporters in a news conference. “A few have already been licensed,” he added. Millennium Management, ExodusPoint Capital Management and BlueCrest established a presence in Dubai last year, just three of the many funds attracted by lower licensing fees and capital requirements for the industry. The DIFC registered record breaking growth last year, with the number of active companies in the Gulf’s financial hub up by a fifth year on year to 4,377, driven by fintech and innovation firms, Kazim said. The number of people employed at the DIFC rose 22 percent to 36,083 workers, he added. Last month DIFC launched the “DIFC Metaverse Platform” to attract global technology innovators. The new platform is aligned with the Dubai metaverse strategy, which aims to add $4 billion to Dubai’s GDP. The strategy aims to create 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030 and attract 1,000 companies specialised in blockchain and metaverse technologies.