The wealth and asset management sector at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has hit $424bn, equivalent to around 30% of the combined gross domestic product of all GCC countries.
Essa Kazim, governor of the DIFC, said the figures were a testament to the success of the DIFC as a financial centre.
The contribution of the sector has risen from 3% to 3.9%, a 30% increase, in the past five years. "This incredible momentum is a reflection of the enhancements we have made in our ecosystem, and in laws and regulations to support growth," Kazim said during the second edition of the Global Financial Forum, that took place in Dubai.
This incredible momentum is a reflection of the enhancements we have made in our ecosystem, and in laws and regulations to support growth"
He said DIFC has risen from 15th to 12th on the latest Global Financial Centres Index, reflecting the record-breaking success of DIFC over the past 12 months.
Speakers at the forum included investment guru Mark Mobius; Sir Gerry Grimstone, former chairman of Barclays Bank; Nicolas Cary, co-founder of Blockchain; economic commentator Martin Wolf from the Financial Times; Shayne Nelson, group chief executive officer of Emirates NBD; and Sunil Kaushal, regional chief executive officer for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered.
Commenting on the sidelines of his participation at the Global Financial Forum held in Dubai, Rémy A. Bersier, Head Emerging Markets and member of the Executive Board of Bank Julius Baer said: "Wealth management remains a growth industry globally with investable assets of high and ultra-high net worth individuals are expected to grow at a pace of 4.7% annually by 2021. Julius Baer is best positioned to benefit from this growth and capture wealth creation dynamics in the growth markets including Middle East.
Fintech was one of the hot topics at the GFF, which focused on the opportunities presented by disruptive technology, demographic shifts, new trends and a greater focus on sustainability in the region.
Nicolas Cary, co-founder and vice-chairman of Blockchain, said cryptocurrency is the first financial system designed specifically for the internet age using distribution ledger technology.
"Now anyone with an Internet connection has the ability to send, receive, secure and exchange value instantly and without an intermediary. Finance is being completely reimagined and we have yet to realise the true potential of this revolutionary money," he said.