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Cass report identifies challenges and opportunities for Dubai as an International Financial Centre

Cass report identifies challenges and opportunities for Dubai as an International Financial Centre

17 September 2013

Dubai, 17 September 2013

Cass Business School, part of City University London, today published a report entitled Dubai as an International Financial Centre: Threats and Opportunities. The report, sponsored by SWIFT and published at Sibos, aims to contribute to the body of knowledge on Dubai as an IFC and to lay out a road map for what steps need to be taken in order for Dubai to continue developing towards this goal.

Professor of Finance, Steve Thomas said: “Dubai is becoming increasingly important as a financial and trading entrepôt for the Middle East and Whole of Africa (MEWA), with its strong recovery from the financial crisis testimony to its energy and creativity. The continuing strengthening of institutions and markets is key to securing ongoing progress at a turbulent time for both the region and the global economy.”

The report outlines the advantages of Dubai’s world class infrastructure, which has already attracted a diverse set of financial services companies. However, it also identifies areas where further work is needed, such as to improve the maturity of its equity and debt markets and its financial infrastructure.

The research, undertaken by Cass Consulting, outlines some additional steps that could help to attract further listings to the exchange and to encourage more foreign investors and financial firms to participate in Dubai’s financial markets. For example, conducting a self-assessment based on the CPSS-IOSCO Principles of Financial Market Infrastructures is an important step to ensure that Dubai’s financial infrastructure adheres to industry best practices.

Alain Raes, Chief Executive, EMEA & APAC, SWIFT, said: “Dubai is growing in importance as a regional hub for trade and finance, and many businesses are building their presence here, SWIFT included. This report is important because it offers timely insights into Dubai’s competitors in the region and how it compares to international financial centres around the world. The report also identifies what Dubai needs to do to achieve its ambitions.”

Some of the themes of the report will be discussed at Sibos, SWIFT’s annual conference, which this year is being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre. This is the first time that Sibos has been hosted in the Middle East and serves to illustrate the region’s growing importance to global financial services. On Thursday 19 September, there will be a dedicated Africa & Middle East Day, including a session looking at the role of financial centres. This will feature several panellists including Jeff Singer, CEO, DIFC.

Sido Bestani, Head of Middle East & North Africa, SWIFT, said: “Against the background of rapid growth for Dubai’s financial sector, this research looks at the major themes facing all financial centres, and helps position Dubai in the global IFC landscape. The topics examined in the report will also be explored at Sibos, during the dedicated panel discussion on the role of financial centres. We anticipate a lively discussion.”

Ehsan Razavizadeh, Regional Director, MENA and Head of the Cass Dubai Centre said: “This report is a great example of the power of collaboration between a world class academic institution and an international organisation such as SWIFT. Cass Business School has long been a leader in finance and banking education and we are delighted to have had this opportunity to work with colleagues in SWIFT. As Dubai counts down to a decision on its Expo 2020 bid, this report serves to highlight the emirate’s standing as a dynamic and thriving global financial centre.”

The full report can be downloaded at:

About Sibos
Every year Sibos brings together influential leaders from financial institutions, market infrastructures, multinational corporations and technology partners to do business and shape the future of the financial industry. Facilitated and organised by SWIFT for the SWIFT community, Sibos is much more than a conference and exhibition. It is a unique forum to collaborate and take collective action in payments, securities, cash management and trade. With the power to draw some 7,000 participants from across the globe, Sibos is unparalleled in its reputation to reach the entire financial services industry.

For more information, please visit

SWIFT is a member-owned cooperative that provides the communications platform, products and services to connect more than 10,000 financial institutions and corporations in 212 countries and territories. SWIFT enables its users to exchange automated, standardised financial information securely and reliably, thereby lowering costs, reducing operational risk and eliminating operational inefficiencies. SWIFT also brings the financial community together to work collaboratively to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest.

For more information, please refer to our website or contact:

Borouj Consulting 
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About Cass Dubai Centre
Cass Dubai Centre was established in 2007 in collaboration with Dubai International Financial Centre, as a regional centre of educational excellence for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).  The Centre operates as a not-for-profit venture. It offers the internationally acclaimed Cass Executive MBA (EMBA), tailor-made executive education, business services including consulting and high profile networking events and MSc programmes in Aviation.  The EMBA offers MENA-based executives and professionals the opportunity to combine demanding work schedules with study near their home and work environments. The programme also attracts students from as far afield as Singapore, the USA and Azerbaijan.  It was the world’s first EMBA programme to offer specialist Islamic finance and energy modules and students can choose to specialise in entrepreneurship, finance or general management.  The quality of education is guaranteed with London-based faculty flying in to provide the programme:

About Cass Business School
Cass Business School in London is part of City University London.  Located in the heart of one of the world’s leading financial centres, Cass is the business school for the City of London.  It delivers innovative, relevant and forward-looking education, consultancy and research.  Cass offers one of the widest portfolios of specialist Masters programmes and has the largest faculties of Finance and Actuarial Science & Insurance in Europe. It is ranked in the top 10 UK business schools for business, management and finance research with leading research centers in areas including Mergers and Acquisitions and Pensions.  Entrepreneurship is another strength with Cass’s Peter Cullum Centre for Entrepreneurship, venture capital fund and sector research.  The 2012 Financial Times EMBA rankings placed Cass fourth in the UK and tenth in Europe.  The School is in the top one per cent of business schools worldwide to have received the gold standard of ‘triple-crown’ accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).  It has a strong alumni network of over 35,000, which extends worldwide across a wide variety of companies and professions: Cass Consulting is the School’s research-led consultancy service that takes academic research and skills and applies them to deliver business results.

About City University London
City University London is a global University committed to academic excellence, with a focus on business and the professions and an enviable central London location.  It is in the top five per cent of universities in the world according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012/13 and in the top thirty universities in the UK according to the Times Higher Education Table of Tables 2012. It is ranked in the top 10 in the UK for both graduate-level jobs (The Sunday Times University Guide 2013) and starting salaries (Which University?).

The University attracts over 17,000 students (35% at postgraduate level) from more than 150 countries and academic staff from over 50 countries.  Its academic range is broadly-based with world leading strengths in business; law; health sciences; engineering; mathematical sciences; informatics; social sciences; and the arts including journalism and music. The University’s history dates back to 1894, with the foundation of the Northampton Institute on what is now the main part of City’s campus. In 1966, City was granted University status by Royal Charter and the Lord Mayor of London was invited to be Chancellor, a unique arrangement that continues today. Professor Paul Curran has been Vice-Chancellor of City University London since 2010:

For Cass Business School press information contact:
Tim Carlton Jones
Bell Pottinger
Tel: +971 5555 973 89