The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the emirate’s hub for the financial sector, has said the number of employees at firms it licenses has grown by 16 per cent in 2012 to more than 14,000, and that the number of registered businesses has risen by 7 per cent.

The latest figures from the centre also show that occupancy at the DIFC-owned properties, which includes the iconic Gate Building, was 94 per cent, and 90 per cent at third party office space, which includes newer developments like Currency House, Currency Tower and Liberty House.

Effectively an offshore financial zone, the DIFC has contributed to the emirate becoming the hub for banking and financial services for the Middle East.