The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) on Monday reported that 64 new companies started operation in the first six months of 2011 taking the total of active registered companies operating in the Centre up to 813. While 44 per cent of new regulated companies that joined the DIFC in the first half of 2011 came from the Middle East and Asia, 50 per cent were from Europe and North America, and 6 per cent from the rest of the world. DIFC management said that in spite of the regional unrest and the continued global economic downturn, DIFC continues to grow as one of world\'s top international financial centres. As of June 31, 2011, 813 active registered companies have a presence in DIFC compared to 792 in 2010, with 312 regulated and 409 non-regulated companies, and 92 retailers. DIFC officials said demand for space at DIFC continued to grow during the first half of 2011 fuelled by the appetite of existing clients for business expansion and the Centre\'s attraction of new regional and international clients. Article continues below \"In 2010, DIFC focused on developing and implementing its new business strategy which centred on growing our existing client partnerships. We have successfully carried this through into 2011 and have seen the evolution of DIFC continue, adapting to the rapidly-changing environment around us,\" said Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIFC Authority. Development of DIFC\'s physical infrastructure continued steadily in the first half of 2011 bringing the total leasable area, including third party developers, to above 2 million square feet of office space. Commercial space leased by new and existing companies increased by more than 130,000 square feet in the period.