The global financial crisis is nearly a decade behind us, yet economic growth in developed markets has been lacklustre ever since. Western economies were once the bedrock of the global economy, but political shocks in the UK and the USA, coupled with an inward-facing trade and investment policy, now threaten their stability. At the same time, so-called emerging markets have become increasingly diverse, with some experiencing stagnation while others pull ahead as regional cooperation increases.

Against this backdrop the finance industry is undergoing dramatic changes. From geopolitical risks to technological shifts, financial institutions must be agile enough to adapt, and governments must ensure that these rapid changes are matched by appropriate policies and regulations. These challenges and opportunities give rise to the three themes of this forum; Globalising Gulf Finance, Emerging Markets, and The Future of Finance.

The Global Financial Forum, organised by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), will explore these geopolitical, technological and financial trends and discuss how they are affecting the finance industry today and will do in the future. The forum will maintain a broad view of global finance while focusing on the Gulf’s crucial financial markets and exploring how that region plans to navigate shifts in the industry in the coming years.

Why Attend

The Global Financial Forum will bring together a high-profile audience from the international finance community to address challenges and forge a path to navigate the new order. Participants will include multilateral and regulatory officials, as well as C-suite executives from a range of financial institutions, including banks, financial technology companies, insurers, asset managers and professional-services firms.

The forum will offer:

  • Panels on emerging trends moderated by The Economist’s editorial team.
  • Focused networking with C-suite business leaders and key government officials and regulators from regional and global economies.
  • Opportunities to explore new business relationships in the fast-growing Gulf region.
  • Exclusive access to international decision-makers in the finance sector from both established and emerging markets.

Conference Schedule

Event Chair: Simon Long, Finance and Economics Editor, The Economist
Co-chair: Simon Cox, Emerging Markets Editor, The Economist

Our Speakers


The Global Financial Forum will take place at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai, at Jumeirah Beach. This beachfront luxury resort with a modern Arabian style is 8km from The Dubai Mall and 7km from Dubai International Financial Centre.

For more information on the venue, please visit Four Seasons Jumeirah website.

Visit Website

Travel Assistance

Attendees of the Global Financial Forum can benefit from preferential rates on flights and at hotels secured by our dedicated travel consultants. Please contact our dedicated representative Ms Rochelle Pereira by email Rochelle@ntravel.ae or call +971 2 6277997 for assistance with Visas, flights and hotels.

Visa Information
If your country of origin appears on the list below, no advance visa arrangements are required to visit the UAE.

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Vatican City

Please note that this information is for your reference only and the organisers we will not be held liable for any special permit visas that are rejected.

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Organised by DIFC

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the world’s top ten financial centres, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The Centre provides a world-class platform connecting the region’s markets with the economies of Europe, Asia and the Americas and facilitates growth in South-South trade and investment. An onshore, international financial centre, DIFC offers a stable, mature and secure base for financial institutions to develop their wholesale businesses.

The Centre offers all the elements found in the world’s most successful financial industry ecosystems, including an independent regulator and judicial system with a common-law framework, a global financial exchange, inspiring architecture, powerful, enabling support services and a vibrant business community. The infrastructure within the district features ultra- modern office space, retail outlets, cafes and restaurants, art galleries, residential apartments, public green areas and hotels.

Located midway between the global financial centres of New York, London in the West and Singapore, Hong Kong in the East, DIFC (GMT +4) fills a vital time-zone gap with a work day that bridges the market and business hours of financial centres in both Asia and North America.

In 2015, DIFC launched its 2024 growth strategy, a blueprint for the next decade of growth of the financial hub. This strategy aims to stimulate trade and investment flows along the South-South economic corridor encompassing the Middle East, Africa, Southern Asia and Latin America.

Currently, 1,750 active registered companies operate from the Centre, with a combined workforce of 21,611 professionals. Amongst the companies, are the vast majority of leading financial related companies including 21 of the world’s top banks, 11 of the globe’s top money managers, 7 of the top 10 insurance companies and 9 out of the top 10 legal firms.

DIFC continues to pursue expansion into new services and sectors within the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, an area comprising over 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and nominal GDP of US$7.4 trillion.

For further information, please visit our website: difc.ae, or follow us on Twitter @DIFC.

Programmed By The Economist Events

The Economist Events is a leading provider of international forums for senior executives seeking new insights into strategic issues. These meetings include industry conferences, management events and government roundtables held around the world. Each meeting organised by the events teams delivers objective and informed analysis. Meetings provide unusually high-level forums where senior executives can gain insights, exchange views and compare strategies.

Contact Us

If you need any assistance with your registration or if you require any other information, please contact us on the following details:

Registrations and Delegate Services

If you need any assistance with your registration or if you have any questions regarding your participation as a delegate, please contact: GFF@economist.com

Speaking opportunity

If you would like to submit a speaker for suggestion please send a concise, 100 word pitch, videos of previous speaking engagements, a biography and any relevant articles to: Caiwilshaw@economist.com


If you are a media representative and would like to attend this event or interview one of our speakers, please contact: Hajar.AlKetbi@difc.ae

General Enquiry

For any other enquiries, please contact GFF@economist.com and we will pass this on to the relevant department