The DIFC is set to become a leading centre for private wealth

Date 09/02/2023
3 minutes to read
Akeela Bharuchi

The Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) is striving to be the first financial centre in the world to launch a dedicated platform to serve Family Offices, ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) and private wealth in general.

Critics may shrug their shoulders at this effort, however, when you look into the economics of private wealth in the Middle East, one can easily see why both regional and global UHNWIs would find such an offering attractive. 

The launch, which officially took place in September 2022, followed a number of key local and global developments that provided an ideal environment for the DIFC to move squarely into the private wealth space: 

  1. Within the next decade, an estimated USD1 trillion in assets will be transferred to the next generation in the Middle East. These ‘Nextgen’ clients may no longer wish to hold their family wealth in offshore jurisdictions who command higher fees while no longer necessarily delivering the perceived benefits of the past. 
  2. To ensure the success of the private sector in the UAE, the Government has recently committed to supporting UAE family businesses by providing the legislative and regulatory tools required. 
  3. Rising inflation and taxes in many European centres as a result of the Ukraine/ Russia war have had a significant impact on many UHNWIs forcing them to re-evaluate their decisions on which jurisdictions offer them the optimum solution for their complex needs. 
  4. The DIFC already has a common law framework and a well-established and globally respected legal and regulatory infrastructure. The DIFC’s aim is to help preserve and grow the private wealth sector by providing access to a full range of support services to enable robust asset protection and succession planning in order to attract family businesses and UHNWIs both from the region and globally to establish a presence in Dubai.  

The DIFC also plans to create an accreditation process for businesses and advisors to this sector, in an effort to ensure the quality of advice and services provided are of the highest standard, giving confidence to those wishing to enter the DIFC. 

According to Tarek Hajjiri, who will lead the new finance centre as Chief Executive, its establishment is ‘another key milestone in the development of the DIFC’s wealth and asset management sector. It embodies the DIFC’s long-term commitment to offering quality private wealth management services on par with global standards.’ 

How can Equiom support your private wealth needs in the Middle East?  

With 45 years’ experience as a leading provider of asset protection and succession planning services to the private wealth sector, Equiom is ideally placed to help family-owned businesses, and ultra-high net worth individuals set up in the DIFC. Having had a presence in Dubai for almost a decade, Equiom launched its own office in the DIFC in 2019. 

Since then, our Middle East fiduciary business has gone from strength to strength. Equiom’s appointment as the Master Trustee to the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings (DEWS) scheme in 2020 confirmed its place as the preeminent provider of trust and corporate services in the region.  

If you would like to find out more about how Equiom can help you meet your own specific needs, please contact Akeela Bharuchi in our DIFC office or Graham Marsh in our Jersey office. 

Source: Dubai enacts new rules for ultra-wealthy and family businesses operations (
This article has been carefully prepared, but it has been written in general terms and should be seen as broad guidance only. This article cannot be relied upon to cover specific situations and you should not act, or refrain from acting, upon the information contained within this article without obtaining specific professional advice. Please contact Equiom Group to discuss these matters in the context of your particular circumstance. Equiom Group, its partners, employees, and agents do not accept or assume any liability or duty of care for any loss arising from any action taken or not taken by anyone in reliance on the information in this article or for any decision based on it.
Equiom Fiduciary Services (Middle East) Limited is the Operator and Master Trustee of DEWS and is regulated by the DFSA. For information on the regulatory status of our companies, please visit
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