News Date: 
Mon, 12/01/2008

Press Centre

01 December 2008

DIFC Posts Electronic Transactions Law for Public Consultation

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) today released its proposed Electronic Transactions Law for public consultation.

The proposed Electronic Transactions Law is a move towards creating a favourable and secure legal environment for companies within DIFC to undertake electronic transactions. The Law creates clear rules, regulations, and standards for authenticating electronic messages, records and signatures.

HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Vice Chairman of the UAE Central Bank said: "In Furtherance of DIFC's efforts to be a catalyst for the growth of financial and capital markets, the new Law helps to ensure a strong and supportive legal framework for electronic transactions undertaken from within DIFC. The new Law forms part of DIFC's efforts to provide a modern, world-class regulatory framework that offers the certainty necessary for financial services companies to carry out a range of transactions at the level of DIFC's Global Counterparts. The Electronic Transactions Law reinforces DIFC's strong emphasis on integrity, transparency and efficiency."

The proposed Electronic Transactions Law (ETL) is based on the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (1999) (UETA) drafted by a committee of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in the U.S. and adopted by most states in the US. The UETA contains provisions derived from, among others, the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Signatures and Canadian law.

The ETL is not a general contracting statute. The substantive rules of contracts remain unaffected by the ETL. The ETL does not apply to all writings and signatures, but only to electronic records and signatures relating to commercial transactions.

Following the consultation process, the Electronic Transactions Law will be presented to the Ruler of Dubai for enactment in accordance with Dubai Law No. 9. The Law is expected to be made official by January 2009.

The Electronic Transactions Law Law, posted on the DIFC website (www.difc.ae) will be open for public comment until 2 January, 2009. Comments can be sent to Dean Ferris, Chief Legal Officer of the DIFC Authority, on dean.ferris@difc.ae.