History admin 31.10.2021
Making a Sustainable Impact Since
Starting as a national initiative to explore sustainable growth opportunities in the MENA region, DIF has grown from an idea to one of the biggest investment funds across the globe. As one of the leading global asset managers, we’re still led by our commitment to people, innovative developments, and support for the local economy. Over the past two decades, we’ve managed to become stakeholders in some of the most promising local startups while playing a role in achieving sustainable growth for our stakeholders
DIF began in 2001 as an idea by thought leaders in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who shared the common determination to explore sustainable solutions beyond the conventional hydrocarbon industry in the MENA region. Our founders believed in the importance of innovative solutions and long-term planning to create a better tomorrow for future generations. By having an understanding of future challenges and planning for acting risks, DIF continues to follow its belief in its management today.
Take an Insight into the DIF Journey.

DIF Historical Timeline Overview

  • 2001

    2001 – Established

    DIF was established in 2001 with the goal of exploring sustainable investments for a better future. We started as an initiative to bring together leading global talent to explore sustainable solutions.

  • 2002

    2002 – Investment operations begin. Current CEO appointed.

    DIF established an investment initiative to explore sustainable returns for our stakeholders in the MENA region using broad-based financial investments.

  • 2003

    2003 – Focus on direct investments.

    DIF established direct investment initiatives with dedicated portfolio managers to collaborate in core developmental areas and enhance direct investment impact. Our direct investment initiative was centered around national mandate and stakeholder directives.

  • 2004

    2004 – Organized a subdivision dealing with social programs

    We established a social subdivision to enhance social impact and improve existing conditions across challenged regions around the globe. Our social impact was based on the values of sustainable returns along with social uplifting.

  • 2005

    2005-2012 – Period of expansions

    DIF expanded from the MENA region to an active global presence in 17 key global territories to have local insights and have a globalized approach to investment management. The addition of global territories also improved DIF’s talent pool and allowed the organization to venture into new segments.

  • 2006

    2006 – More sectors for investments

    DIF ventured into alternative investment formats across key industrial segments to explore viable opportunities and enhance returns for investors throughout global markets. New alternative segments in the currency, commodity, and bonds segment were added to provide stability.

  • 2007

    2007 – New IT infrastructure for DIF clients and investors

    DIF introduced a broad-basedd digital infrastructure to provide access to clients and investors using modern technological tools. The introduction enhanced access and simplified investment insights for core clients.

  • 2008

    2008 – New appointments on key roles

    DIF introduced new stakeholders in the management structure to increase decision-making stability and add a broader perspective throughout the decision-making framework. New appointments were made by vetting industry leaders to DIF.

  • 2011

    2011 – Strategy of diversification begins

    DIF introduced across-the-board risk management requirements throughout the organization through diversification. Portfolio compositions were reevaluated to generate risk-factored returns and maintain a balanced global approach.

  • 2014


    Given the changing wealth management landscape, DIF focuses on providing portfolio construction expertise to financial advisors by leveraging our diverse platform and portfolio construction technology.

    With emerging prospects in the real estate segment, DIF advanced into real estate consultancy to offer across-the-board consultancy to its partners around the world. We also enhanced our holding consultancy in the MENA region to support key stakeholders with their decision.

  • 2015


    DIF further increases our commitment to Investment Stewardship, emphasizing the importance of purpose to long-term profitability.

    Through this work and the overall dedication to Investment Stewardship over the past seven years, we go beyond proxy voting to engage with companies to drive long-term, sustainable financial performance and, ultimately, the value of our client’s assets.DIF enhanced its emphasis on attaining long-term asset returns beyond the conventional voting to ensure that stakeholder input was central in determining sustainable investments and considering ESG aspects in strategy formulation.

  • 2016

    2016 – DIF launches its first AI Lab in Dubai.

    DIF launches its first AI Lab in Dubai to accelerate its use of artificial intelligence and associated disciplines – machine learning, data science, natural language processing – to improve outcomes and drive progress for investors, clients, and the firm. DIF’s AI Lab has been at the center of cutting-edge progress in machine learning, quantum processing, and data sciences to enhance applications across key areas in the public and private sector.

  • 2017

    2017 – Largest investments in IT sectors.

    As a strong proponent of technological growth, DIF expanded into the IT sector with partnerships around the globe with leading tech firms and startups and diversified portfolio composition and enhanced long-term returns.

  • 2020

    2020 – Sustainable investments, a revised strategy

    DIF redefined its investment directives away from non-renewable sectors to optimize its direction for the future. 2020 marked a commitment towards net-zero emissions and sustainable investment practices as a hallmark at DIF.

  • 2021

    2021 – Largest investments in renewable energy sectors

    2021 marked a hallmark year for renewables investments at DIF. We extended our investment collaborations in the green energy and net-zero sectors to deliver meaningful power solutions for the global industry segment.

  • 2022

    2022 – Today

    DIF continues to explore viable collaborations and expansions across cutting-edge domains throughout the globe. We’re deeply focused on emerging technologies and comprehensive risk management evaluation for our stakeholders’ investments in key segments.

Explore More

About Us
Investment process

Let's work together to build something great

Get in touch with our experts to discuss your personal needs and get answers to all your questions.