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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Dubai's DIFC completes Dh180m 'The Exchange' development 

New mixed-use building will be home to Nasdaq Dubai

DIFC announced the completion of 'The Exchange', the Dh180 million development that will house the offices of Nasdaq Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
DIFC announced the completion of 'The Exchange', the Dh180 million development that will house the offices of Nasdaq Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Dubai International Financial Centre on Saturday announced the completion of “The Exchange”, its Dh180 million mixed-use office and retail project that will provide a new home for the emirate’s virtual exchange, Nasdaq Dubai.

The development is located in DIFC’s Gate Village and offers a total leasable area of 147,000 square feet, of which 33,000 square feet is reserved for retail use. More than 80 per cent of the new project has already been leased, DIFC said in a statement.

The DIFC is ranked as the top international financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, and among the top ten worldwide, according to The Banker magazine. The free zone has set a target of tripling its scale by attracting 1,000 active financial firms by 2024. The DIFC, which builds and manages its own property portfolio, has consentingly been investing in the new property developments as it pursues its aggressive expansion plans.

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“Unveiling of The Exchange reflects the impressive pace DIFC has maintained towards achieving our 2024 strategy,” Arif Amiri, the chief executive of DIFC Authority, said “[It] enables us to attract major players in the financial services industry as we meet their current demands and address future occupier trends.”

Demand for retail space at the financial free zone is also on the rise, growing 7 per cent with 226 active retailers registered in the centre at the end of last year, compared to 211 in 2016. Gate Avenue, the DIFC's new retail project, is on track to open this year, adding 660,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment options in the area.

Annual profit of DIFC rose by 25 per in 2017, on the back of its strategy to increase the number of FinTech companies within the free zone. Its net profit grew to $99 million last year compared to $79m in 2016, while revenue remained little changed at $221m, up 1 per cent from the previous year, it said earlier this month.

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