‘We made it clear that on the day the market opens, the number of products will be very small,’ said Jones. However, the products that will eventually be offered will include depositary receipts, bonds, sukuks, index products and derivatives. ‘We aim to be the first exchange to introduce index products to the region – including sharia-compliant index products,’ he said.

On longer-term plans, Jones raised the possibility of creating a second tier market for start-up companies seeking international capital, pointing to the success of the AIM and the NASDAQ. ‘I believe that such a second tier market, regulated more lightly than the main market, could be a very useful addition to the services offered by the DIFX.’

The DIFX was formally granted its licence by the regulator, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), on 20 September.