Markel International, the specialist insurer, has applied to the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to establish a company to operate within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Subject to receiving regulatory approval, Markel’s business will be located within the Lloyd’s offices in the DIFC and will focus initially on offering trade credit covers. Opportunities in other business lines will be reviewed in due course.

Markel is close to making the appointment of a proposed Senior Executive Officer (SEO), with substantial trade credit experience, to head the office.

Ewa Rose, Managing Director of Markel’s trade credit division, said: "There has been an increasing amount of business opportunity through the Middle East for our trade credit insurance product which we launched in London in 2010. We have since introduced the product in Singapore, Munich and New York but the Middle East has been a missing part of the jigsaw."

Simon Wilson, Director International Development at Markel International, said: "Timing of the next steps is clearly in the hands of the Dubai regulators but we would hope to be in a position to be trading by the end of this year."

Markel is strongly supportive of Lloyd’s discussions with the DFSA and DIFC to open for business in the emirate. "The Lloyd’s Middle East platform proposal is a move which we support, especially if it can replicate what has been done in Singapore. We are very much aligned with what Lloyd’s is doing" said Mr Wilson.

Markel was an early supporter of the Lloyd’s in Singapore, joining the platform in 2007.

The proposed trade credit development in Dubai follows the expansion of the trade credit division to New York in July this year.