The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) opened in 2004 and is a 110 acre onshore financial centre aiming to compete with the likes of New York and London. It is one of Dubai’s major free zones.
Companies based at DIFC provide financial services in the following sectors; banks and banking services, capital markets, asset management and fund registration, insurance and reinsurance, and Islamic finance.
They are regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority and include Julius Baer (Middle East), Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered, Babcock and Brown (DIFC), Renaissance Capital, Merrill Lynch, GCC Energy Fund Managers, Alliance Re, Goldman Sachs, and Praesidium.
The Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) is also based here.
The DIFC is dominated by the The Gate, a 15-storey building designed by US architects Gensler situated at the northern end of the development. Marble Walk located beneath The Gate offers numerous retail outlets and cafes while the surrounding terrace, The Balcony, houses mainly cafes and delis. The Gate Village, just east of The Gate, is home to restaurants and upmarket art galleries.
Hotels and places to stay in and around DIFC include:
- Carlton Downtown Hotel
- Jumeirah Emirates Towers
- The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre
- Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai
- Dusit Thani Dubai
- Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre
- Rose Rayhaan by Rotana - Dubai
- Towers Rotana - Dubai
- Swissôtel Al Murooj Dubai
- Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road
Restaurants in DIFC are listed below.
The list was last updated on Sunday 4th of October 2020.
|24th St. World Street Food||Dusit Thani|
|Indian, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Italian, Chinese||$$||Licensed restaurant on the 24th floor of the Dusit Thani. Street food concept offering dishes from around the world (Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Arabic etc.). Vibrant and colourful interior. |
|Al Grissino||South Tower, Emirates Financial Towers|
|Italian||$$$||Italian restaurant on the 16th floor of the South Tower of Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC. Unique bar offers spectacular views of the Dubai skyline.|
|Mediterranean||$$||Dishes from France, Italy, and Spain. Licensed. Indoor and outdoor seating. Extensive wine cellar. |
|Le Cirque||The Ritz Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre|
|French||$$$||French restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre. Opulent interior. Licensed.|
|Level 43 Sky Lounge||Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road|
|Mint Leaf of London||South Tower, Emirates Financial Towers|
|Indian||$$$||Contemporary Indian restaurant on the 15th floor of the South Tower of Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer great views of the Burj Khalifa.|
|Japanese||$$$||Sleek, contemporary Japanese restaurant at DIFC. Spread over three levels. Booking recommended.|
Shopping and Art Galleries
High end art galleries such as Art Space, Art Sawa, Ayyam Gallery, and the Cuadro Fine Art Gallery can be found at The Gate Village.
Emirates Towers Boulevard is just north of DIFC and offers further retail and dining options.