Authorisation in the DIFC - Waystone

      Authorisation in the DIFC

      Authorisation within the DIFC

      The authorisation process can be daunting. We have set out below an overview of the DIFC regulatory environment, DFSA authorisation and how we can assist you with the licensing process as well as providing ongoing guidance and support.

      Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”)

      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).

      Any business establishing in the DIFC can have 100% foreign ownership and is subject to a civil, commercial and regulatory environment similar to that established in the United Kingdom.

      Does your business need to be regulated by the DFSA?

      Any business providing a financial service from a permanent place of business in the DIFC must be regulated by the DFSA. This includes, but is not limited to, banks, brokers and dealers, asset managers, corporate financiers, wealth managers, insurers and insurance intermediaries. The type of business you wish to conduct and the licensed activities you wish to undertake will define the category of licence you will require.

      The DFSA operates a professional-retail client regime similar to that under MiFID and, whilst the DIFC is mainly a professionals market, a retail endorsement is available to firms wishing to undertake retail business.

      Setting up in the DIFC

      Our guide to setting up in the DIFC provides further details and insights on the application and authorisation process, including:

      • licence categories
      • restrictions on doing business from the DIFC
      • the application process
      • mandatory appointments.

      If you are a fund manager or asset manager looking to establish in the DIFC, the  flexible and cost-efficient fund regime offers a number of attractive opportunities.  Our Guide to the DIFC Fund Regime provides concise information to support your decision-making process.

      Find out more about:

      Waystone Compliance Solutions will coordinate and project-manage the entire application from start to finish and offer you clear guidance throughout the process. We will also assist you to manage your relationship with the DFSA and DIFC Authority by attending all meetings and overseeing all correspondence.

      We will provide you with all the compliance policies, procedures, systems and controls needed to meet the DFSA’s requirements.

      Post authorisation, our highly-experienced consultants will provide ongoing compliance advice, training on specific governance, risk and compliance issues, undertake independent monitoring reviews and even act as your Compliance Officer and/or Money Laundering Reporting Officer on an outsourced basis.

      Variations of Permission and Endorsements

      Are you considering a Variation of Permission or endorsement to your DFSA Licence?

      FinTech in the DIFC

      Getting your FinTech Firm Authorised in the DIFC