Mohammed bin Rashid establishes Dubai International Financial Leadership with encouraging UAE legislation


Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, president of Dubai International Financial Corporation (DIFC)

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister of the United States of America and the ruling Dubai, has adopted a number of laws on the legal and regulatory framework of the International Financial Center in Dubai (DIFC), as well as the general working environment of companies based in the center.

The purpose of the amendments is to consolidate the status of the Center as a financial free zone with the most independent and developed jurisdiction and to support the growth and prosperity of business between areas of jurisdiction adopted in English general law in the region. Amendments include DIFC Laws 5, 7, 10, 11 and 2018 for companies, and joint ownership.

Companies Act

The new company law DIFC has adopted a new corporate classification system for the public and private sectors. These changes were followed by extensive discussions, consultations and a global benchmarking exercise in order to maximize flexibility, especially for small private companies, as well as an adequate level of control over complex institutional arrangements, such as those relating to listed companies , mergers, settlement plans and debt restructuring.

The amendments to the Companies Act coincide with the complete upgrade of the existing business systems of the Center in order to facilitate business in the light of the latest FATF and OECD requirements on the transparency of the eligible property and AML requirements.

Changes to the Real Estate Act and the Real Property Property Act include the modernization of the real estate ownership system in order to better protect the rights of owners and borrowers to own real estate in the DIFC area and the register of property properties sold on the scheme and the security requirements for developers.

Best practices

"An extensive and robust legal framework is one of the cornerstones of the world's leading financial centers, including the International Financial Center in Dubai (DIFC)," said Essa Kazim, President of the Diffus International Financial Center Authority (DIFC). "It enables businesses and investors to easily and confidently work, We continue to develop our regulatory system in accordance with the best global practices in order to consolidate our position among the best financial centers in the world."

"In addition to improving transparency and protecting customers and investors, new changes improve the business environment of DIFC, reduce business barriers and increase cost-effectiveness and flexibility for small businesses that are growing at the heart of the business," he added.

Draft legislation

The Center also organized awareness meetings attended by approximately 300 participants, which brought valuable feedback from the business community that took part in the preparation of amendments, recognizing the Center's desire to include companies and institutions in the search for the best legal frameworks, which operate within its scope. Supporting their work in accordance with the best international standards and practices.

The Companies Act – The 2018 International Finance Center Act in Dubai (No 5) – adopts a new plan for the classification of companies operating in a financial center by removing the name of a "limited liability company" and dividing companies in general, and private and public. The companies of the Center and the restructuring and consolidation plans follow the growth of market integration activities.

Operational law

New Operational Law – The International Finance Center Act of 2018 in Dubai combines the general requirements and conduct of companies operating in the DIFC provides a framework for the role of the company registrar and provides for improvements to the corporate licensing system in order to increase the volume of operations is implemented in the framework of the DIFC In addition to the addition of new provisions for the protection of applicants.

The Real Estate Act – Act of the International Financial Center in Dubai (No. 10) of 2018 – has been amended to give customers full disclosure of projects and units purchased. In addition, real estate developers must create a guarantee account for collecting amounts paid by real estate buyers in the scheme.

Law of the Strata

Amendment to the Law on Joint Assets of the Strata – DIFC Act no. 11 from 2018 – extends the powers and functions of the real estate registrar to include a judgment of parties who violate their obligations. The amendment will enable the Center's courts to communicate directly to the parties concerned in order to resolve disputes effectively and impartially.

In addition, DIFC has introduced definitive rules for usable property requiring the provision of information about end-user owners of all registered persons in the Center with accuracy and the use of appropriate privacy mechanisms.

Changes occur only a few weeks after the issuance of Law no. 6 of 2018 amending the DIFC Regulatory Law, which aims to strengthen anti-money laundering centers and the fight against terrorism in preparation for the future mutual evaluation of the UAE Financial Action in 2019.

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