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DAFZA, DFM and Nasdaq Dubai organize webinar for free zone companies about IPO and listing opportunities in Dubai

The webinar showcased the advancements in the regulatory and legislative structure that have been developed to assist the newly introduced initial public offerings

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – November 25, 2020: Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA), Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Nasdaq Dubai held a first-of-its kind joint virtual webinar to introduce the DFM Main Market and Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market, that have been developed to provide initial public offering (IPO) and listing opportunities for free zone companies.

The IPO and listing of free zone companies comes in line with the strategic goals set out by the Dubai 10X initiative. By providing access to DFM’s Main Market and Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market, the initiatives will ensure that small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) and larger free zone companies will be able to generate a wave of potential new investors to enable them to expand their business and enhance their attractiveness in global markets. Built on solid foundations and determined to meet market needs, the new platforms will also create added value for free zone companies by providing them with the trading systems and other knowledge and technologies that will enable holistic growth of the listed companies.

The webinar showcased the latest developments in the regulatory and legislative structure that will assist companies with public offering and listings in Dubai Financial Market and Nasdaq Dubai. The webinar also touched upon the recent regulations issued by the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) regarding the offering of free zone companies’ shares in the market. Adding to that, the responsibilities of companies and the most important considerations that must be considered were also brought to light. The webinar included several sessions that featured experts from leading banks and legal consulting firms, who highlighted the joint initiatives between the stakeholders across the UAE, including DAFZA, DFM, Nasdaq Dubai, SCA and the Supreme Legislation Committee in Dubai. These initiatives aim to support the efforts of achieving Dubai’s strategy to strengthen the emirate’s position as a regional hub for the leading international companies.

During her participation in the webinar, Ms. Amna Lootah, Assistant Director General, DAFZA, said: “The inclusion of free zone companies as well as SMEs in the Dubai Financial Market and Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market is a qualitative addition to the financial, regulatory and legislative system that the emirate of Dubai provides to investors in general. It was also designed to attract international companies within the free zones in Dubai and facilitate their growth and expansion, as they are an important element that drive exceptional growth and rapid transformation across various sectors.”

“Through various initiatives, DFM and Nasdaq Dubai will contribute to support SME’s as well as large companies by allowing them access to emerging investors and many other investments opportunities. The partnership will also reinforce Dubai as an attractive infrastructure for the local, regional and international markets and will provide efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility to support and protect the investment environment and the business community within the free zones in the coming years,” Lootah added.

Hassan Al Serkal, CEO of DFM said: “The capital markets in Dubai have successfully created a world-class infrastructure and regulations that offer flexible IPO and listing options, as part of the relentless efforts to fortify Dubai’s leading and efficient role in empowering businesses in various economic sectors and support their sustainable growth. We are pleased to collaborate with DAFZA, the key strategic partner in implementing this initiative, to keep free zone-based companies posted on IPO and listing opportunities on DFM’s Main Market, enabling them to raise the necessary funds for implementing strategic expansion plans. The DFM-listed companies have raised AED 77 billion by implementing IPOs and Rights Issues on the market. Additionally, the listing also strengthens issuers presence and links with various types of investors.”

Hamed Ali, CEO of Nasdaq Dubai and Deputy CEO of DFM said: “The Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market, scheduled for launch early next year as one of the Dubai Future District initiatives, the largest future economy specialized area in the region, provides emerging companies and SMEs in the UAE and beyond with unique IPO and listing opportunities. The imminent market is supported by a comprehensive regulatory framework for seamless and flexible listing that enables companies to reinforce growth through the IPO route. The Nasdaq Dubai Growth Market also provides investors with lucrative and diversified investment opportunities in a wide range of high growth emerging and new economy companies.”

The Board of Directors of SCA recently approved an amendment to the system for offering and issuing of shares, allowing free zone companies to offer their shares through the Dubai Financial Market in accordance with the Dubai 10X. The decision will contribute to attracting more foreign investments by facilitating the access of free zone investors to the financial markets in Dubai, and making it available to help expand their businesses. Through this, interested parties will be able to raise the necessary capital to develop their projects in the region without the need to return to the country of origin.

The Dubai Financial Market offers advanced legislative structure to list free zone companies, under the supervision and regulation of SCA. The authority has since taken over the task of preparing and issuing the necessary legislation to launch and establish the project, while DAFZA will support its companies to list shares.

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