Press releases

Dubai a safe haven for wealthy high-net worth families and their investments

10 January, 2016 – As a first-class tourism destination, and a world-leading financial services center, Dubai is seen as a safe haven for individuals from the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and other Middle Eastern countries, and as an alternative jurisdiction for wealthy high-net worth families and their investments from around the world, according to Deloitte’s latest report “Introducing Dubai: A destination for private and corporate wealth”.

According to the Deloitte report, the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) was an early proponent of the concept of the Single Family Office (SFO), and the first jurisdiction in the Middle East to define a family office in legal terms. Legislation relating to SFOs which recognizes the unique requirements of family offices and their limited public liability has been in place since 2008. Based in the DIFC means family offices can benefit from the robust legal and regulatory framework, and highly qualified and experienced professionals.

“The DIFC rule of law has a common law framework; it also has its own courts as well as a Wills & Probate Registry for non-Muslims. The DIFC has strict anti-money laundering rules to ensure that it is a real contender on the international financial scene,” said Walid Chiniara, Partner and Deloitte Private Leader in the Middle East.  “Efforts are being made in government to amend and update some of the other commercial and private legislation in the rest of the country, so as to attract more foreign investment into the UAE, which it is hoped will increase exponentially in the run-up to Dubai’s hosting of Expo in 2020,” he added.

Highlights of the Deloitte report include:

  • Dubai has several free zones and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) which allow 100% foreign ownership, making them of interest to internationally mobile families and their businesses.
  • With oil prices impacting the regional economy, a successful and entrepreneurial cohort of ‘next generation’ family business owners will be instrumental in the continued advancement of the Dubai economy

“As host city of Expo 2020, Dubai anticipates it will attract 25 million visitors, the vast majority of whom will, unusually for this sort of event, be from overseas,” said Chiniara. “This multicultural ‘mega-event’, which will be held under the theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, is hoped to showcase Dubai as a springboard facilitating investment in Africa as well as Asia,” he concluded.

To view the whole report go to:

Press contact
Nadine El Hassan
Middle East Public Relations Leader
Deloitte & Touche (M.E.)
Tel: +961 (0) 1 748444
Fax: +961 (0) 1 748999


Click here to download for the Arabic pdf version

About Deloitte:

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte has in the region of 200,000 professionals, all committed to becoming the standard of excellence.

Deloitte's professionals are unified by a collaborative culture that fosters integrity, outstanding value to markets and clients, commitment to each other, and strength from cultural diversity. They enjoy an environment of continuous learning, challenging experiences, and enriching career opportunities. Deloitte's professionals are dedicated to strengthening corporate responsibility, building public trust, and making a positive impact in their communities.

About Deloitte & Touche (M.E.):

Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) is a member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) and is the first Arab professional services firm established in the Middle East region with uninterrupted presence since 1926.

Deloitte is among the region’s leading professional services firms, providing audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through 26 offices in 15 countries with around 3,000 partners, directors and staff. It is a Tier 1 Tax advisor in the GCC region since 2010 (according to the International Tax Review World Tax Rankings). It has received numerous awards in the last few years which include Best Employer in the Middle East, best consulting firm, and the Middle East Training & Development Excellence Award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

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