Introducing the DIFC Innovation License


Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has launched a new license for startups, entrepreneurs, and technology firms.

The new Innovation License will attract a variety of businesses to DIFC and is a key initiative for the Dubai Future District, which was announced in January 2020 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The new license will support innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship in the region. Entrepreneurs will be able to grow and scale their business using the DIFC’s independent Common Law based legal and regulatory framework, world class intellectual property, and data protection regime.

DIFC continues to lead the region’s efforts to provide an appealing environment for innovative businesses that contribute to the development of the financial services and technology industries. Innovation License holders will join over 200 technology firms already registered, in addition to 2,500 regular firms and 25,000  professionals.

Mr. Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer, DIFC Authoritysaid:

“The new DIFC Innovation License provides an important springboard for future economy pioneers to establish, upscale and future proof their business within the stable framework of a world leading global financial centre.

“It is an exciting new offering that we hope will attract technology-led, sector agnostic start-ups that will disrupt the technology and financial sectors. These types of businesses have an important role in shaping the economic future of Dubai, UAE and the region. They will be welcomed by members of DIFC’s ecosystem and become a central part of the new Dubai Future District.”

Innovation License fees are heavily subsidised, and offer a low cost entry into DIFC with registration fees starting at 1,500 USD per year. Entities will also gain access to DIFC co-working spaces at attractive rates. Innovation firms can secure up to four residency visas when renting desk space, as well as a 50% discount on additional visas. The annual license costs will be reduced for the first 4 years giving the company time to scale and grow and at a sustainable pace. Alpha Management has plenty of experience guiding clients through both the Innovation License and FinTech License process. In addition, these types of entities will count as “Qualifying Applicants” for DIFC’s holding and investment SPV regime, called Prescribed Companies. Please contact us for more details.