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How To Setup A Financial Service Company In Dubai?

There are several authorities who regulate the financial services activities in UAE.

Central Bank of the UAE

Banking, Investment business, Money exchange houses are regulated by the Central Bank of the UAE.

Company or individuals cannot carry out the financial services activities unless they obtain regulatory license to conduct such activities from the Central Bank of the UAE.

Companies interested in setting up these activities should approach the Central Bank. The Laws and regulations, licensing procedures pertaining to Central Bank licensing should be obtained from the Central Bank of the UAE.

Securities & Commodities Authority – SCA

Activities pertaining to securities market, mutual funds, brokerages etc are regulated by Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA)

Insurance Authority – IA

Activities of Insurance, Reinsurance, Insurance intermediaries, and professionals associated with the Insurance industries are regulated and supervised by Insurance Authority of the UAE.

Key Requirements For Company Setup In Dubai/UAE:

  • Activities generally require minimum UAE national ownership / holding of 51% or more.
  • Capital requirements to start the business are generally very high.

What are the alternative Jurisdictions to carry out Financial Services activities in the UAE?

Individuals and firms that cater specifically to Professional clients can carry out the financial services either from Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), or the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

The DIFC & ADGM are onshore Financial Centres, providing secure and efficient platforms for Financial Institutions to operate from.

How to setup Business in ADGM?

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) is a broad-based international financial centre for local, regional and international institutions.

ADGM operates as a Financial Free Zone within the UAE with its own civil and commercial laws as well as its own financial services regulator, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA).

Find out more on Business Setup in the ADGM.

How to setup Business in DIFC?

DIFC is a fast developing financial centre which will play an important role globally in the future.

It provides a stable and secure platform for businesses and financial institutions to tap into the emerging markets of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

The DIFC is a Financial Free Zone within the UAE with its own civil and commercial laws as well as its own financial services regulator, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

Find out more on Business Setup in the DIFC.

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