Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is having discussions with over 50 hedge funds regarding the establishment of their businesses in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), reported Bloomberg.

The Middle East business hub has already facilitated industry leaders, including Millennium Management and ExodusPoint Capital Management, to set up their branches.

After obtaining a licence in 2020, Millennium has increased its headcount in Dubai to nearly 30 people.

In June last year, ExodusPoint Capital, which offers multi-strategy hedge funds, registered itself in the DIFC.

Besides, British hedge fund LMR Partners has obtained a licence from DIFC to open a unit in Dubai.

At a briefing, DIFC governor Essa Kazim said: “One space that has been growing very fast is the hedge fund sector.

“The backlog for that industry is big and it’s growing and it’s one of the sources of our growth actually.”

DIFC chief business development officer Salmaan Jaffery said that the hedge funds, which are willing to secure a DIFC licence, together handle more than $1tn worth of assets.

Jaffery added that DIFC continues “to not only authorise them, but we continue to engage them globally.”

However, he refused to reveal the name the funds and the total number of funds that have offices at the centre.

Dubai has been able to portray itself as popular destination for hedge fund businesses who benefit from the city’s ease of doing business, tax-free regime, among others.

Portfolio managers with investments ranging from North America to Asia also find Dubai’s time zone more convenient for their operations.