DIFC Announces Enactment of New DIFC Family Arrangements Regulations

Staff Writer

Published: 31/01/2023

Dubai, UAE, 31 January 2023: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, recently announced the launch of its Family Wealth Centre (link). In addition, following a 30-day public consultation period, the DIFC Authority has now enacted the DIFC Family Arrangements Regulations. The DIFC Family Wealth Centre and the new regulations will provide a regulatory framework and hub for global and regional family-owned businesses, ultra-high net worth individuals and private wealth, and further differentiate DIFC as a global hub for leading financial institutions and businesses.

Family Arrangement Regulations

The key aspects of the Family Arrangement Regulations are set out as follows:

  • To make comprehensive provision for the engagement of family businesses with DIFC, taking into account the announced initiatives of the UAE Federal Union and the Emirate of Dubai, including the recent enactment of UAE Decree Law No (37) of 2022 (UAE Family Business Law), the recommendations of the DIFC Wealth Management Review, the establishment of the DIFC Family Wealth Centre and the enhanced regulatory environment in DIFC.
  • To repeal the Single-Family Office Regulations and DIFC’s Single Family Office regime and replace it with a new Family Office regime that can provide services to a family, and also revoking the need for a Family Office to register as a DNFBP (Designated Non-Financial Business or Profession) with the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) (unless providing such services to more than one family by way of business).
  • The provision of a private register for Family Entities and Family Offices and a specially designated register for the registration of Family Businesses, pursuant to the provisions of the UAE Family Business Law.
  • To set out arrangements that families can make within DIFC for better operation of their businesses, the preservation of their wealth and the succession and legacy planning, including the manner in which accredited advisers, corporate service providers and registered persons in DIFC can provide services to families in or from DIFC.
  • To establish certification and accreditation regimes for family businesses and their advisors in DIFC, to support the expected benefits and incentives for family businesses in the UAE pursuant to the UAE Family Business Law.