DFSA announces plan to grow reputation of Dubai as a well-regulated financial hub

Rick Steves

“This continues to demand a finely tuned risk-based approach to regulation, to maintain the integrity of the DIFC financial services industry, while also continuing our efforts to facilitate innovation in the industry.”

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has released its Business Plan for 2023-24, designed to foster an enabling environment for firms as Dubai and the UAE continue to grow their reputation as well-regulated and forward-thinking financial services hub.

Fadel Al Ali, Director of the DFSA, announced the publication of the 2023-24 Business Plan: a two-year plan that outlines an ambitious roadmap to meet the DFSA’s statutory objectives for the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) including establishing and maintaining the DIFC’s reputation as a leading global financial center.

International standards, client protection, financial crime, ESG and tech

Encapsulated within four strategic themes, the plan calls to focus on several key projects that cut across multiple strategic themes as the regulator further enhances its policy framework through the implementation of international standards, ongoing development of its support for trading venues and markets, and strengthening its regime for the protection of client assets to maintain the integrity of the DIFC financial services industry.

Fighting financial crime remains a key priority for the DFSA as it continues to support the federal authorities to implement the recommendations arising from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Mutual Evaluation of the UAE in 2020.

The DFSA will also work at a national level to deliver approaches on corporate governance, disclosure, and taxonomy and continue to work with DIFC firms to improve engagement and understanding of ESG issues, as part of its efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The regulator intends to leverage technology to address regulatory obligations and challenges and continue to update the broader regulatory regime within the DIFC so that it addresses market developments – both risks and innovations.

Risk-based approach to regulation

Fadel Al Ali, Chairman of the DFSA said, “The DFSA’s 2023-2024 Business Plan builds upon our commitment to international standards, high quality regulation and best practices to foster an enabling environment to support the DIFC’s continued growth and that of Dubai and UAE economies. The nation’s leadership continues to demonstrate a future-focused vision for the prosperity of the country and this clarity of vision and purpose continues to guide our role and understanding of the part we play as the DFSA moves towards its 20th anniversary.”

“High quality regulation and supervision, as well as increasing our use of technology and automation will allow us to align further with the visions of Dubai and the UAE. The themes in this Business Plan reflect the context in which we operate: the continuing evolution of the DIFC as a financial centre and the DFSA as a regulator, placing continuing reliance on international standards as the basis of our approach. The population of the Centre continues to grow, as does the depth and breadth of activities conducted. This continues to demand a finely tuned risk-based approach to regulation, to maintain the integrity of the DIFC financial services industry, while also continuing our efforts to facilitate innovation in the industry.”

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