Swiss-based private banking giant Edmond de Rothschild Group is opening its MENA hub in Dubai’s DIFC today as part of efforts to significantly grow its presence and client base in the region.

Dubai joins Switzerland, Monaco and Luxembourg in Edmond de Rothschild’s network of international private wealth hubs.

The bank, founded in 1953, has been covering the region for years from Switzerland, but it decided to establish its presence in the DIFC to ensure proximity to its clients and to leverage the expertise it has historically built up out of its headquarters, according to Saman Habibian, Global Market Leader – Middle East and Africa, Edmond de Rothschild.

The bank secured a Category 4 advisory licence from the DIFC and has hired eight private bankers who will be working from its offices in the ICD Brookfield Place.

“Dubai and the Middle East has been an important market for Edmond de Rothschild. Over the last couple of years Dubai continued to position itself as key hub for the entire region and for so many different sectors. It’s just the right time for us to be based here now,” Habibian told Zawya.

The private banking business will be focused on clients with investable assets of more than $5 million. A Henley Global Citizens Report earlier projected that 4,000 millionaires would migrate to the UAE in 2022. Dubai is home to over 200 centi-millionaires or individuals with net worth valued at more than $100 million, the report said.

“Besides the traditional products such as custody, advisory, credit, etc., we also offer wealth planning for family offices and family-owned businesses and entrepreneurs across the entire lifetime of their businesses and strategies. Edmond de Rothschild also invests in trends of the future and sustainability. It could be investments in renewables or the megatrends in health care or the food sector. All of this has helped us to build a successful track record in the private banking space,” he added.

The group had nearly CHF 158 billion ($168.76 billion) in assets under management as of 31 December 2022. It has 2,500 employees and 29 locations worldwide.

Private banks worldwide are increasingly training their sights on the UAE, either setting up offices in Abu Dhabi or Dubai or increasing their team on ground to cater to the fast-growing high net-worth investors in the Emirates.