As of September 30, DFM hosted 11 companies on its platform through equity dual listings.
Ali said Dubai has established strong relationships with some important Chinese institutions, facilitating the listing of 21 bonds from Chinese issuers on its platform.
“The Dubai team has done a fantastic job of building that relationship,” said Ali.
The management consulting firm PwC believes further privatisation will be seen in Dubai as the government strives to list a number of entities in the future.
The slowdown in the global initial public offering (IPO) markets, notably in the US and Europe, has not hit the Gulf region, according to a PwC report released in August.
IPO activity in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which comprises the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, continued into the second quarter of 2023 with 13 flotations raising US$1.8 billion. This was supported by relatively active pipelines in both the public and private sectors and increased investor awareness of the region’s potential, the report said.
Ali said companies listed in Dubai can “scale up in the region at a fast pace” as there is “an unparalleled infrastructure that allows businesses to expand well beyond Dubai”. He cited Africa and the Middle East as potential growth areas.
In the Middle East, Ali advocates cooperation among exchanges rather than competition because the region is large enough to accommodate multiple exchanges.
For instance, Saudi Arabia has been expanding its stock exchange, Tadawul, as part of the kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030 plan – the government’s long term goal of weaning the kingdom off its reliance on oil exports to focus on economic diversification, global engagement, and enhanced quality of life.
As part of this, Saudi Arabia focuses on collaborations with stock exchanges in other jurisdictions. In September, The Saudi Tadawul Group announced the signing of an agreement with the Shanghai Stock Exchange to promote mutual development and cooperation.
Dubai has its Dubai Economic Agenda “D33”, which aims to double the size of its economy by 2033 and make it one of the top three cities for living, investing and working.
Additionally, Dubai is one of the first jurisdictions globally to have set up a regulator to oversee the provision, use and exchange of virtual assets, according to Ali.
“As the technology and finance sectors are evolving, the best thing for us to do is to make sure that we have the right regulatory framework to make sure that we’re balancing the benefits of the new technology and the benefits of the sector as well as ensuring the transparency of its operations,” he said.