In partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council hosted a senior delegation from the DIFC on Tuesday for a high-level private roundtable luncheon in New York. Salmaan Jaffery, the DIFC’s Chief Business Development Officer, and Ali Hassan, the DIFC’s Senior Representative of Europe and North America, were joined by His Excellency (H.E.) Majid Al-Suwaidi, Consul General of the United Arab Emirates in New York, and institutional investors to discuss opportunities for doing business in Dubai.
Following scene-setting remarks from U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council Vice President Alexis Serfaty, Mr. Jaffrey provided an in-depth overview of the DIFC and its wide-ranging business verticals. His presentation highlighted the DIFC as the region’s premier financial free zone connecting Middle Eastern markets with economies in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. He stressed the importance of DIFC’s common law courts, which provide an internationally recognized legislative framework for global businesses, while Mr. Hassan underscored the opportunities DIFC provides U.S.-based asset managers.
Mr. Jaffrey said, “the DIFC has become the destination of choice in the Middle East for U.S. financial institutions, corporations and professional services firms. Our partnerships with organizations such as the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council help us to maintain and grow these important relationships, thereby providing our U.S. clients with access to high-growth MEASA markets. Those emerging markets continue to grow at above global averages driven by diversification, privatization and financial inclusion initiatives, opening up new markets and opportunities for trade and investment. As the region’s leading international financial center with an integrated ecosystem of over 1500 firms and 21,000 professionals, we are at the forefront of helping companies reach new areas and sectors.”
From L to R: Alexis Serfaty, Vice President, U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, Elham Bambaei, Vice President, Corporate and Investment Banking, Citi, Ali Hassan, Senior Representative, Europe and North America, DIFC, H.E. Majid Al-Suwaidi, Consul General of the United Arab Emirates in New York, Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer, DIFC and Saqib Rashid, Director, The Abraaj Group
H.E. Al-Suwaidi briefly mentioned that, “the U.A.E. is the single largest export market for the U.S. in the Middle East and over 1,000 US firms have an on-the-ground and expanding presence in the country. We are committed to building upon our strong partnership with the U.S. This is why we recently launched the U.A.E. Consulate in New York, one of the top exporting states to the U.A.E. with total trade growing from $626 million in 1999 to over $2 billion in 2015.”
Mr. Jaffrey thanked the audience and H.E. Al-Suwaidi for their attendance as well as the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council for providing the platform for disseminating information about the overall bilateral and commercial relationship between the U.S. and the U.A.E.
Following the discussion, the audience was given an opportunity to ask questions regarding the overall investment climate between the two countries. Alexis Serfaty concluded the morning roundtable by thanking Mr. Jaffery, Mr. Hassan, H.E. Al-Suwaidi, and the business community for joining the discussion.