Dubai has just enacted a collective investment law to provide guidance for mutual funds, hedge funds and private equity funds to put the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) on par with other leading offshore financial centers, including New York, London and Hong Kong, Financial Times reports.

Opened in September 2004, the 110-acre zone grants special benefits to companies operating there, such as no taxes on profits, 100% foreign ownership, no restrictions on foreign exchange or repatriation of capital, a dollar-denominated environment, operational support and business continuity facilities.

In particular, DIFC is hoping to capture a big share of the alternative investments market, according to Sandy Shipton, head of asset management for the centre. Alternative investment firms are frequently split among various locations, with domiciles often in the Caymen Islands or other tax haven, administration handled in Dublin and investment management handled in New York or London, Shipton said. But DIFC can handle the back-, middle- and front-office all in one location, Shipton said.

In addition, Dubai offers an attractive lifestyle. "We have the ability, lifestyle and infrastructure to support the investment community living in New York, London or Hong Kong."

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