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Payments pioneer WorldFirst will use DIFC base to service region

Financial ecosystem continues to attract global leaders to Dubai


The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), a global top 10 international financial center and the leading financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has announced the launch of global currency exchange and payments company WorldFirst in the Center.

UK headquartered WorldFirst was acquired by Ant Financial, the financial technology arm of Alibaba Group Holding Limited, in February 2019. The expansion to Dubai with a representative office in the DIFC will enable WorldFirst to provide currency exchange services and cross-border payment solutions for e-commerce businesses and individuals to the MEASA region through its Dubai base. The new office will also support international money transfers in multiple currencies from across the region, creating a best practice platform for international trade and currency exchange.

WorldFirst joins more than 2,300 active registered organizations and a fintech community of more than 100 firms that have made the DIFC their location of choice to service the MEASA region.

The Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region’s e-commerce market is projected to be worth USD 97 billion by 2020.

Home to the largest, most developed financial ecosystem in the region, the DIFC has succeeded in attracting some of the world's leading financial institutions since it was established in 2004. The launch of global payment leader WorldFirst is in line with the DIFC’s road map to support the economic vision of Dubai by diversifying the financial services industry, identifying opportunities to accelerate growth within the financial technology arena, and attracting pioneering global brands.

The DIFC has achieved a three-fold growth in registered fintech firms since the end of 2018, as leading international and regional sector specialists choose the DIFC as their preferred jurisdiction from which to scale their business across the MEASA region.

With more than 250,000 global customers, WorldFirst works with leading international companies including e-commerce giants such as Amazon. Currently responsible for more than 80 percent of Amazon transactions within the UK and a significant number of European e-commerce payments, the launch of Middle East operations will enable WorldFirst and parent company Ant Financial to provide seamless payment solutions from the DIFC.


Dubai FDI