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Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
Updated: 17th May, 2022

Dubai International Financial Centre

The financial quarter of Dubai comprising commercial, retail and residential districts, all three linked by a retail corridor
Dubai International Financial Centre
Overview
place
Area
Dubai
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Also known as
DIFC
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Master developer
The master developer is DIFC Authority.
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Additional information
  • In October 2019 Dubai moved into the top ten of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) at eighth position.

Guide

This 110-acre financial quarter is located between Burj Khalifa and Emirates Towers and comprises three districts: commercial, retail and residential. All three are linked by a retail corridor. Roughly sixty percent of the properties planned for DIFC have been completed, while the remainder are still in development.

DIFC is well connected to the rest of Dubai by excellent road and rail links, Dubai International Airport and the business districts of Downtown Dubai and Business Bay are all less than twenty minutes drive or twenty five minute train ride away.

Because DIFC is the financial centre of Dubai the majority of buildings are commercial properties. About 30% of the land here is earmarked for high rise apartments, and of that about one third has been built. Park Towers, twin 49-storey apartment buildings, have been completed and when the first tranche of apartments went on sale they were snapped up within 48 hours.

The luxury fit-out may not always be matched by a luxury floor plan, but if you can’t have it all at least you get fantastic views of some of Dubai’s most famous landmarks, including the Burj Khalifa and Emirates Towers.

In January 2019 it was announced that DIFC was to be expanded by the addition of 13 million sq ft of space, to be known as DIFC 2.0.

In January 2020 the Dubai Future District was launched, connecting the Dubai International Financial Centre with The Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC) and Emirates Towers to create a hub to develop the ‘new economy’ announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed in the 4 January 2020 Document. In it he pledged to continue working on developing the emirate by welcoming national and international talents; building new partnerships that create job opportunities; providing financing to entrepreneurs and startups; adopting initiatives that facilitate the establishment of new companies; and the launch of innovative ideas to design the economy of the future.

The Dubai Future District is expected to be the Middle East’s biggest future economy-focused district, with a future economy research centre, incubators and accelerators, and an innovative space for future economy pioneers.


Transport & Access

Commute times by car*

From Dubai International Financial Centre it takes roughly six minutes to drive to Dubai Mall, 20 minutes to Palm Jumeirah, 18 minutes to Burj Al Arab and 23 minutes to The Walk JBR.*

Airport proximity

Dubai International Airport (DXB) is roughly 32 minutes' drive and the new Al Maktoum International Airport is roughly 43 minutes' drive.*

Road access

Most people who work here live in neighbouring districts and make use of the excellent road and rail links to commute. Sheik Zayed Road, the main highway through Dubai, passes alongside DIFC.

Public transport

The metro also passes through DIFC with two stations, Financial Centre and Emirates Towers, serving the district.

* Drive times are calculated by Google Maps and assume fastest route in typical traffic conditions.

Available property
For sale
Apartment To Rent in The Index
1 Bed Apartment To Rent in The Index
120,000  per year
For sale
Apartment To Rent in Burj Daman
1 Bed Apartment To Rent in Burj Daman
120,000  per year

Sub-communities

There are two sub-communities in Dubai International Financial Centre. Learn more in the following guides.

Amenities

Those who live here can eat, shop, work and play all within DIFC. A walk down from one of the residential buildings leads straight onto DIFC’s retail corridor, Gate Avenue, lined by individual stores and host to regular farmer’s markets, so that residents rarely have to leave the district in order to find what they need. A modern health club offers sports enthusiasts a variety of facilities, including squash, tennis and basketball courts. The landscaped grounds provide residents with places to walk and socialise. Fine dining, cafés, well-known retail stores and an entertainment centre are all just a short walk away.

DIFC’s Town Centre, still in development, claims to become one of Dubai’s ‘most distinctive lifestyle destinations’, with outdoor restaurants and cafés and a variety of street entertainment acts. It will also offer a central market selling fruit, vegetables, fish, meats and cheeses.

A cinema and theatre will add to the evening attractions, and those looking to party until the early hours will, we are told, be able to meander into one of the district’s varied nightclubs and dance the night away.

Financial Freezone

The Dubai International Financial Centre is a business freezone geared towards financial institutions looking to establish operations in Dubai. It is an independent jurisdiction under the UAE Constitution and has its own civil and commercial laws, based on English law, which it upholds though its own court system and arbitration centre. This covers areas such corporate, commercial, civil, employment, trusts, and securities law. UAE criminal and immigration laws still apply however.

The area is governed by the DIFC Authority and is self regulated under the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). It even has its own financial exchange, the NASDAQ Dubai, which has been in operation since 2005.

By mid 2020 there were over 2,500 firms registered in the freezone with a workforce of around 25,000. As per the freezone rules all companies enjoy zero tax on income and profits as well as unrestricted repatriation of capital.

Expansion Plans

In March 2015 the DIFC announced plans to build a new commercial building in Gate Village as well as a 150 unit retail development to link together all the existing buildings. The new building, named The Exchange, was completed in March 2018.

Dubai International Financial Centre Location

Most people who work here live in neighbouring districts and make use of the excellent road and rail links to commute. Sheik Zayed Road, the main highway through Dubai, passes alongside DIFC.

The map below shows the location of Dubai International Financial Centre and just below are summaries of the nearest attractions, parks, beaches, golf clubs and cinemas. For a more in-depth look at the local attractions, and to see what's on in and around Dubai International Financial Centre, visit our Things to Do guide.

attractions
Attractions
Dubai Aquarium, 1.7 km
Dubai Ice Rink, 1.8 km
PVRK, 1.9 km
park
Parks & beaches
Bay Avenue Park, 2.7 km
La Mer Beach, 2.8 km
Zabeel Park, 3.0 km
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Golf clubs
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, 6.5 km
The Track Meydan Golf, 6.5 km
Dubai Hills Golf Club, 10.3 km
movie
Cinemas
Reel Cinemas at Rove Downtown, 1.1 km
Reel Cinemas at The Dubai Mall, 1.8 km
Roxy City Walk Cinema, 1.8 km
Looking for more Dubai International Financial Centre things to do and entertainment? Visit our Things to Do guide.

Local Schools

Dubai International Financial Centre has many schools nearby including Jumeira Baccalaureate School at 2.2 km and Dubai Autism Center at 3.3 km.

In terms of performance there are eight schools nearby that have achieved either of two highest government inspection rating of 'Very Good' or 'Outstanding' including Horizon English School Dubai which has a rating of 'Outstanding' and Dubai English Speaking School which also has a rating of 'Outstanding'.

Jumeira Baccalaureate School
2.2 km, Jumeirah 1
AED 63,500  •  IB
Dubai Autism Center
3.3 km, Al Satwa
AED 30,000  •  Specialist SEN
Japanese School Dubai
3.4 km, Al Wasl
AED 20,500  •  Japanese
Ambassador School
3.7 km, Al Mankhool
AED 28,000  •  Indian

Things to Do

We've partnered with LadiesNightDubai.com and BrunchCrunch.ae to give an overview of the current Ladies Nights and Brunch offers in the vicinity of Dubai International Financial Centre. For full nightlife listings and to see what else is happening nearby see the Things to Do page.

Do You Boo, Gate Avenue • Ladies Night • Vibe (0.1 km)
Antika Bar, Al Fattan Currency House • Ladies Night • Antika (0.1 km)
Secret Garden Brunch, Ritz Carlton DIFC • Flair 5 (0.1 km)
Bubbles in the City
Ladies Night • Tuesday 8:00pm
BOLLA (0.2 km)
Boca
Ladies Night • Tuesday 4:30pm
BOCA (0.3 km)
Ladies on Top
Ladies Night • Monday, Tuesday 9:00pm
Level 43 (0.4 km)
Original Wings & Rings
Ladies Night • Wednesday 8:00pm
Original Wings & Rings (0.5 km)
Secret Brunch at the Ritz
Brunch • Ritz Carlton DIFC
Café Belge (0.1 km)
Signature Saturday brunch
Brunch • Gate Village Building 1
Roberto's (0.2 km)
The Big Rainbow Brunch
Brunch • Gate Village Building 8
BB social dining (0.3 km)
Bull of Wall Street Saturday Brunch
Brunch • Walford Astoria DIFC
Bull & Bear (0.3 km)

Nearby neighbourhoods

Explore communities that are either adjacent or close to Dubai International Financial Centre.

Sheikh Zayed Road
Sheikh Zayed Road (0.4 km)
The 2km stretch of road between Business Bay and the World Trade Centre roundabout, flanked by walls of skyscrapers. 
Read more
Downtown Dubai
Downtown Dubai (2.0 km)
A huge residential and commercial development. Home to Dubai landmarks - Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountain and Dubai Opera.
Read more
City Walk
City Walk (2.0 km)
A stylish, vibrant town-centre community combining residential, shopping, dining and attractions in the heart of the Jumeirah district.
Read more
Al Kifaf
Al Kifaf (2.8 km)
The four residential towers of Park Gate Residences share this place with Zabeel Park, Etisalat Tower and the landmark Dubai Frame.
Read more
La Mer by Meraas
La Mer by Meraas (2.9 km)
A beachfront development with shopping, dining and entertainment areas stretching out to sea between Pearl Jumeirah and Jumeirah Bay.
Read more
Business Bay
Business Bay (3.3 km)
A new regional business hub with office and residential towers, landscaped gardens and a network of roads and waterways. 
Read more
Healthcare City Phase 2
Healthcare City Phase 2 (4.2 km)
A wellness centre providing long-term care, spa resorts, sports medicine facilities, waterfront residences and nutrition centres in Jadaf.
Read more
Bur Dubai
Bur Dubai (4.6 km)
Villas and low-rise apartments abound in this historic district on the banks of Dubai Creek across the water from Deira.
Read more
Companies Associated with Dubai International Financial Centre
Master Developer: DIFC Authority

Design Stage

Images depicting the initial concept designs for Dubai International Financial Centre.

Projects often go though a number of design revisions as they progress and developers may or may not honour their original plans when it comes to architectural designs, amenities and landscaping. The images below are provided as a means to compare the original plans with the realised development.

Dubai International Financial Centre Buildings

There are 28 building developments in Dubai International Financial Centre. For a full list of all Dubai International Financial Centre buildings visit our Buildings Guide.

The Gate
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The Index
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Burj Daman
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Park Towers
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Sky Gardens
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Liberty House
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Ritz Carlton DIFC
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The Exchange DIFC
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The Gate Precinct
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Central Park Towers
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ICD Brookfield Place
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Al Fattan Currency House
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Emirates Financial Towers
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