Company registrations in Dubai’s two freezones have risen in 2011 compared with the previous year. Both the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) have experienced a rise in company registrations over the past year.

The DMCC has grown substantially since its inception in 2002. In January 2012, 111 new businesses registered at the DMCC. Last year it registered just under 1,400 new companies, of which about 90 per cent were new to Dubai. In 2010 the DMCC had registered 725 new businesses. About 25 per cent are from Europe, 20 per cent from the Middle East & North Africa (Mena) countries and 17.5 per cent from India and Asia.

“Dubai and in particular the DMCC enjoyed a perfect winter as a result of the Arab Spring and European debt problems. We were very well positioned to provide a home for businesses looking to relocate,” says Malcolm Wall Morris, chief executive officer at the DMCC.

The number of companies registered at the DIFC grew 7 per cent in 2011 to 848 companies with an increased interest from businesses in Asia.

About 37 per cent of the companies now registered at the DIFC are from Europe, 26 per cent from the Middle East, 17 per cent from North America, 11 per cent from Asia and 9 per cent from the rest of the world.

“We have the potential to double in size in the next five years, contributing to economic growth within the UAE and the region as a whole,” says Abdulla Mohammed al-Awar, chief executive officer of the DIFC.