The UAE has issued a new law allowing entities based in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to offer services and products to customers outside the DIFC, provided the business is conducted primarily from their offices in the centre, as first reported in Middle East Insurance Review. Marketing and promotion of their activities can be conducted outside the DIFC.
The new law opens the door to DIFC entities to provide services to customers located in the UAE outside the DIFC.
The Prime Minister of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the ruler of Dubai, issued the new law, which replaces a 2004 law that was the original founding law for the DIFC, announced the Government of Dubai media office earlier this month.
In line with global best practices, the new law also provides more clarity on the duties and responsibilities of the DIFC president and governor as well as the relevant authorities, while also ensuring the centre’s operational, financial and administrative independence that is crucial for its continued growth and success.
The new law expands the strategic objectives of the DIFC to boost Dubai’s position as a global hub for financial services. These objectives now also include advancing sustainable economic growth for Dubai, developing and diversifying its economy and increasing the GDP contribution of the financial services sector, promoting investment into Dubai and attracting regional and international entities to establish themselves in the DIFC as their principal place of business.
The Dispute Resolution Authority that existed under the 2004 law will be split into two separate bodies under the new law, to form the DIFC Courts and the Arbitration Institute. This will allow each body the maximum opportunity for growth and proper allocation of resources in respect of their separate mandates.
In addition, the new law allows the DIFC president to exempt certain federal and local government authorities, companies and other entities from the application of any DIFC laws or regulations being applicable to them when present in the centre, in which case only UAE federal and local laws will apply to them. This is an important change to allow the increasing number of federal and local government authorities in DIFC to be exempted from certain DIFC laws and regulations that were never intended to apply to them.
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