Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), has granted several licences to insurance and reinsurance companies in recent months paving the way for the sector to achieve 20% annual growth.

In a statement on 18 September, DIFC said recently welcomed Hensley Wynne Furlonge Partners (Middle East) Ltd, MNK Re Ltd, Optio Re MENA Ltd, Swan Insurance Management Agency Ltd, Waica Reinsurance (DIFC) Ltd and YOA Risk Services Ltd.

They join preeminent industry names including AIG, Berkshire Hathaway, Zurich, Marsh, Aon and Willis to access the largest untapped market in the world through DIFC.

The new joiners cover a broad range of insurance and reinsurance lines that will enable them to grow across the region. These lines include transactional risk insurance within the M&A process, medical, personal accident, travel, property, engineering, liability and marine.

Additionally, supporting the Centre's vision to drive the future of finance, Virtual I Technologies Ltd, an Insurtech company from the DIFC Innovation Hub, has become the first InsurTech to upgrade and obtain a regulatory licence from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). Virtual I chnologies Ltd has created the most sophisticated AI-based risk assessment tool in the world and has moved to the next phase of growth to be a capacity distributor based on a digital gateway platform between capacity providers, global agents, local agents, and retail brokers.

Over the past five years, DIFC has seen an influx of insurance and reinsurance players with a 43% representation of Managing General Agents (MGAs) from Africa, Asia, Europe and Middle East contributing to the USD 2.1bn market. The continuing increase in company registrations from the sector provides a buoyant outlook for workforce as well as gross written premiums, which has already increased by 18% to USD 1.2bn in the first six months of the year when compared to the same period in 2022, and by 34% since 2021.

As a market creator, DIFC has built a globally recognised regulatory environment with strategic, financial, and operational benefits associated with geographical expansion for reinsurers, brokers, independent MGAs, and Lloyd's service companies and coverholders. In addition, buoyant oil prices, increased infrastructure spending and low insurance penetration in the region have worked positively for the reinsurance market within DIFC.

Arif Amiri, chief executive officer of DIFC Authority, said: "DIFC has been delighted to welcome an impressive stream of new insurance and reinsurance companies during the first nine months of 2023, on track for 20 per cent annual growth. Today, we are home to more than 100 registered insurers, reinsurers, captives and insurance-related entities who are using our platform to achieve their growth ambitions. Our world-class laws and regulations are comparable to other advanced markets across the globe and enable our insurers and reinsurers to confidently operate in the jurisdiction, tap into new growth opportunities in the region, and collectively contribute to the Centre's vision of driving the future of finance."