Explore the world of Middle East and International Art at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a financial free zone in Dubai, is an onshore financial and business district. Given Dubai's position on the world's financial scene, the DIFC aims to be a major global financial hub. Free zones in Dubai stimulate business growth by providing ownership, tax incentives and assistance in setting up companies in the UAE. Along with the numerous banks, financial institutions and services residing in the DIFC, there is a vibrant and very active community of art and cuisine. The DIFC has been described as a marriage between business, art and food. This marriage was brought about by the vision of its architect Eric Kuhne. Kuhne, an American born architect living in London, is owner of CivicArts. The philosophy of CivicArts is to "re-unite the creative arts of art, architecture, garden, interior, urban and industrial design." Using his "Marketplace of Ideas" approach he conceives "great" civic spaces that "restore the storytelling quality of architecture." Certainly the DIFC brings this philosophy to fruition. Kuhne states, "cities have always been marketplaces for commodities, goods, services and faiths" but that "none of these truly reveres the power of civic life." He argues that retail trade "can bring back the pageantry of civic life to cities and towns." And the DIFC certainly does bring back the pageantry of civic life through its 12 art galleries and numerous fine restaurants. The DIFC is a pulsating hub of big business deals, gallery openings and well-heeled diners. The DIFC Gate Village Art Gallery Walking Tour focuses on six galleries. But each of the full complement of galleries has its own ambiance and since all are located in the same area it will be easy to peruse all of them depending on the time you have allocated.