DIFC Announces Proposed New DIFC Family Arrangement Regulations And Amendments To The Leasing Regulations For Consultation

Staff Writer

Published: 12/12/2022

Dubai, UAE, 9 December 2022: 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), pursuant to which it has now issued a consultation paper proposing new DIFC Family Arrangements Regulations. The Family Wealth Centre and the proposed 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 Dubai and the DIFC as a global hub for leading financial institutions and businesses.

Amendments to the Leasing Regulations are also proposed in a separate consultation paper, to provide clarification in respect of certain fines. The proposed amendments will facilitate the administration and enforcement of the DIFC Leasing Law.

Family Arrangement Regulations

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

  • To make comprehensive provision for the engagement of family businesses with the 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 Business Centre and the enhanced regulatory environment in the DIFC.
  • To repeal the Single-Family Office Regulations and the DIFC’s Single Family Office regime and replace it with a new Family Office regime that can provide services to a Family or more than one Family in certain circumstances (also revoking the need for a Family Office to register as a DNFBP with the DFSA).
  • To set out the arrangements which families can make within the DIFC for the 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 the DIFC can provide services to families in or from the DIFC.
  • To establish certification and accreditation regimes for family businesses and their advisors in the DIFC, to support the expected benefits and incentives for family businesses in the UAE, pursuant to the UAE Family Business Law.

Leasing Regulations

Under the DIFC Leasing Law a person who commits a contravention of the Law is liable to a penalty specified under Regulations or Directives. Currently the Leasing Regulations do not specify a penalty amount for contraventions under the Leasing Law, nor have any Leasing Directives been issued to this effect. The proposed amendments to the Leasing Regulations identify offences under the Leasing Law which may carry a penalty and the proposed level of penalties for each offence.

The proposed regulations have been posted for a 30-day public consultation period with the deadline for providing comments ending on 7 January 2023.