Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai International Financial Corporation (DIFC)
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, has passed several laws on the legal framework and regulation of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), as well as the general business environment of the center.
The purpose of the amendments is to strengthen the status of the Center as a financial area with the most independent and developed jurisdiction and to support business growth and prosperity among jurisdictions adopted by the general English legislation in the region. The amendments include DIFC laws for companies for 5, 7, 10, 11 and 2018, and joint ownership respectively.
The new corporate law of DIFC adopts a new company and classification system for private companies. These amendments were followed by extensive discussions, consultations and general benchmarking, in order to increase flexibility, especially for small private companies, and adequate control over complex institutional arrangements, such as those related to listed companies, mergers, settlement plans and debt restructuring
The amendments to the Business Law coincide with the comprehensive improvement of the existing business systems of the Center in order to facilitate business, while respecting the latest requirements of the FATF and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on the transparency of charity and AML requirements.
Amendments to the Real Estate Law and the Strata Common Property Law include the modernization of the property property system in order to better protect the rights of owners and borrowers to acquire real estate in the DIFC area, as well as the security requirements of property registers and developers in the scheme.
"A comprehensive and rigorous legal framework is one of the cornerstones of the world's leading financial centers, including the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC)," said Essa Kazim, chairman of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC). "It allows businesses and investors to operate easily and securely. We continue to develop our regulatory framework in line with best global practices to strengthen our position among the best financial centers in the world."
"In addition to improving transparency and protecting buyers and investors, the new amendments improve the DIFC business environment, reduce business constraints and increase the profitability and flexibility of small businesses that are growing significantly".
The Center also organized informative meetings involving some 300 participants, resulting in valuable feedback from the business community that participated in the development of the amendments, recognizing the interest of the Center in involving companies and institutions operating in its field in order to find the best legal framework. Supporting their work in accordance with best international standards and practices.
Business Law – Dubai International Finance Center Law No. 5, 2018 – adopts a new plan for classifying companies operating in financial centers by removing the name of a "limited liability company" and distributing enterprises in general and in the private sector and in society. Center companies and plans for restructuring and consolidation to cope with the growth of the merger activity in the market.
New Operating Law – Dubai International Finance Center Law No. 7 in 2018 combines the general requirements and behavior of the DIFC companies, provides the basis for the role of the Registrar of the Company and improves the corporate licensing system in order to increase the amount of transactions carried out by the DIFC in addition to the new rules in order to protect the reports of the rapporteurs.
Real Estate Law – Dubai International Finance Center Law No. 10, 2018 – was amended to ensure that buyers fully disclose the projects and units they purchase. In addition, real estate developers now have to set up a guarantee account to collect the amounts paid by real estate buyers for the scheme.
Amendment to the Strategic Uniform Law on Ownership – DIFC Law No. 11, 2018 – Expands the powers and functions of the registrar of immovable property, including the judgment of the members who violate their obligations. This amendment will allow the Centers' courts to hear directly from stakeholders and thus to deal effectively and objectively with disputes.
In addition, the DIFC has introduced definitive rules on communal property requiring information on end-user ownership of all registered units in the center with precision and the appropriate use of privacy mechanisms.
The amendments are only a few weeks after Law 2018 of 2018. 6 was issued to amend the DIFC legislation aimed at strengthening the Center's Anti-Semitic and Anti-Terrorist Systems in preparation for the forthcoming Mutual Assessment of the Financial Action Task Force in 2017.
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