Dubai: Dubai was also ranked 10th overall for its financial maturity. To remain competitive and operate as per the highest regulatory standards, DIFC continues to develop its internationally-recognised regulatory framework and legal system in order to support the growth of financial services and commercial activities.
During the first six months of 2012, four legislative proposals were published for public consultation and have been submitted for enactment by the Ruler of Dubai. These include amendments to the Employment Law, DIFC Law No. 4 of 2005; the Real Property Law, DIFC Law No. 4 of 2007; and the Data Protection Law, DIFC Law No. 1 of 2007. They also include a draft law and regulations for Non-Profit Incorporated Organisations.
At the same time, DIFC has further strengthened its efforts to develop its relationships with strategic counterparties and organisations. In H1 2012, DIFC Authority signed three new Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with TheCityUK, the Australia Gulf Council and New South Wales Trade ‘&’ Investment.
As new companies join and existing companies expand, demand for space at DIFC continues to grow. A total of 179,700 square feet of new space was occupied in H1 2012 representing 60% of those leased during the whole of 2011 (FY 2011 262,000 square feet).
Occupancy of the DIFC-owned commercial offices in the Gate District (Gate Building, Gate Precinct and Gate Village) remains high above 98% of the leasable space (total commercial office space: 1,379,103 square feet), while occupancy within the DIFC-owned retail space has remained consistent at 96% (Total DIFC-owned retail space: 226,397 square feet).
In the first six months of this year, the Property Lease Management Agreement (PLMA) between DIFC and a number of units in Liberty House expired. As such, third party owned office space managed by DIFC under the PLMA now includes the Currency House, Currency Tower and some units in Liberty House with a total area of 531,659 square feet. These are 86% occupied.
Office space in third party owned office space not managed by DIFC remains available and includes the Index Tower, Park Towers and Emirates Financial Towers as well as a number of units in Liberty House. The total space occupied in these buildings stands at around 349,407 sq ft though occupancy rates for the total space available in these developments are not available to DIFC.