Credit Suisse and Aon have both lodged letters of intent to apply for a licence from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Credit Suisse already has a presence in the region and has been in existence there for the past 25 years. According to Joe Straehle, CEO covering Asia Pacific, Middle East, America, Eastern & Northern Europe, applying for a licence is the next logical continuation in the company's relationship with the Gulf region.
He said: "We have closely examined the model of the DIFC and, based on our positive evaluation, have decided to issue a letter of intent. We are convinced of the growth potential of this dynamic region and are very strongly committed to it."
Aon has also lodged a letter of intent because of what it sees as the attractive growth opportunities the area has to offer.
Massoud Shaheen, managing director for the Middle East region at Aon, said: "Aon as a global corporation continually seeks new ways to provide innovative and optimum solutions for our clients and we are excited by the benefits we can offer our customers by joining forces with DIFC, particularly in areas such as captive insurance and risk management."
The DIFC is committed to developing the region's potential and out of the $2.3 trillion global insurance market, the region currently accounts for less than $10bn in annual premiums. The demand for insurance services is expected to grow at 10% to 20% over the next 10 years.
The authority is an independent unitary regulatory authority responsible for the oversight of asset management, banking, securities trading, Islamic finance, re-insurance and a regional exchange.
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