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Banking in Dubai

Banking in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates emerged as a regional financial center in the Middle East during the last few years. From all the Emirates, Dubai is currently the most developed when it comes to the quality financial services provided to customersDubai’s reputation as a banking center relies on the financial infrastructure and economic stability. There are over 20 local banks and approximately 30 foreign banks operating in Dubai through branch offices. Dubai is also sought by other financial and investment companies.

The Banking Law in Dubai

The main legal framework regulating financial operations in Dubai is the Banking Law, while the main regulatory authority is the Central Bank of the UAE. Other legislation governing the banking system in Dubai is:

  • – the Islamic Banking Code,
  • – the Commercial Law.

Additionally, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is the most important free zone in Dubai providing advantageous conditions to foreign investors setting up financial institutions in the UAE. Our lawyers in Dubai will provide you with more information about setting up a financial institution or an investment company.

Opening financial companies in Dubai

The Central Bank of the UAE has adopted two resolutions in order to establish how one can register a financial company in the UAE. Resolution no. 58/3/96 and Resolution 165/06/2004 contain all the provisions about the activities financial institutions may undertake in Dubai. These are:

  • – granting personal loans,
  • – granting commercial loans to companies in Dubai,
  • – opening credit lines and issuing guarantees,
  • – issuing stocks, bonds and certificates of deposit.

The minimum share capital for opening a financial company in Dubai is 35 million AED and the 60% of the total subscribed capital must be owned by an UAE citizen.

Setting up a financial company in DIFC

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is in charge with issuing licenses for financial companies operating within the DIFC free zone, but also to foreign banks setting up branches in Dubai. The DFSA licenses 23 types of financial services activities depending on the operations undertaken. Among these are:

  • – granting loans,
  • – offering money services,
  • – managing assets,
  • – providing fund management,
  • – offering trust services.

For complete information about obtaining a financial license, please contact our law firm in Dubai.