Dubai makes slow progress on developing as hub for financial trusts

09 April 2008

The lack of legal rulings from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is holding back plans to turn the emirate into a hub for trusts, which are widely used for asset management and tax planning, according a leading banker.

“It is very early days and the DIFC trust law is competing with the laws of places like England which has 100 years of legal precedent. Once there is a body of case law from the DIFC, and if they are sensible decisions, Dubai will be a very attractive place for domiciling trusts," says Jeremy Arnold, head of wealth advisory for Barclays Wealth, the investment advisory arm of Barclays.

The DIFC is becoming increasingly important as a place for wealthy individuals in the region to place their assets, according to Arnold.

He adds that Dubai can compete with offshore centres such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda or Jersey, primarily because of its tax neutral status.

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