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Getting into the financial industry

A majority of DIFC’s clients are regulated entities, which are backed by a financial regulatory ecosystem that is expanding and enabling. The DIFC’s regulatory agency, the DFSA, evaluates applicants’ knowledge and suitability, as well as the category of license they are seeking. Businesses interested in setting up shop in DIFC must submit an application.

Early in the registration process, the DIFC and DFSA are contacted, and a Letter of Intent (LOI) is filed with the DIFC. Once the DFSA has given the submission an initial evaluation, the applicant can submit the full application, which includes a Regulatory Business Plan. After reviewing the application documents for compliance, the DFSA will conduct its due diligence and maintain contact with the applicant.

After receiving the In-Principle Approval, the applicant must complete the following tasks:

  • Incorporation or registration of the entity with the DIFC Registrar of Companies (ROC);
  • Opening a local bank account and providing the DFSA with proof of remittance of capital;
  • Evidence of office space from which it will conduct its financial activities.


The DFSA issues the applicant a licence after the prerequisites are met. Depending on the nature of the regulated entity, the conditions and requirements for application processes differ.

The DFSA’s General Module and the Conduct of Business Module cover all aspects of authorisation, including initial licence applications, licence extensions or reductions in scope, and the appointment of approved personnel. The types of financial activities that a regulated firm is permitted to offer to establish the license’s scope and category.

1-Setup & Registration

If you are a financial institution, corporate office, professional services provider, or retailer interested in establishing a business in the DIFC, simply fill out the online form and a member of the Business Development team will contact you to assist you with the registration process.

2 - Lease Enquiry

Depending on the nature of your business, the size of your staff, and your preferred location within the district, companies registered with the DIFC can pick from a variety of attractive commercial and retail lease alternatives.

3-Hire a Venue

DIFC has a variety of indoor and outdoor locations available for hire, including large-scale conferences and exhibitions as well as smaller lectures and workshops. If you’re planning an event at the DIFC, the Specialty Leasing team can assist you in finding the perfect venue to fulfil your needs.

4-Media Enquiry

If you’d like to learn more about the DIFC and how to handle media inquiries for your company, or if you’d like to request an interview with a DIFC representative, please submit your inquiry and a member of our PR & Corporate Communications team will contact you.

Fill out this form to request a photo shoot at the Centre.


You can submit your request or questions on the DIFC website to learn more about upcoming Sustainability initiatives or to better understand how you and your organisation can get involved. The Sustainability team will take the time to explain more.