DFSA Works to Strengthen Regulatory Environment to Support Dubai and UAE Economic Growth
Fadel Al Ali, Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), announced that the DFSA continues to play a pivotal role in establishing and maintaining the Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) reputation as a leading global financial centre and supporting the increasing recognition of Dubai and the UAE as a beacon of economic opportunity.
In 2022, the DFSA recorded a 54% growth in licencing and registration activity, with a corresponding 9% year-on-year increase in total regulated entities.
Fadel Al Ali, Chairman of the DFSA, said, “In 2022, we continued to focus on ensuring a robust and resilient financial sector. In line with UAE government plans, we have worked to make the DIFC a place where the digital economy can thrive. We have also created a new regulatory framework for crypto tokens to make the future of finance in the DIFC even easier. In developing a clear and flexible regulatory framework based on the best practices and laws of the world's leading financial jurisdictions, we set high standards. The results demonstrate the trust that local, regional, and international businesses have in the DFSA.”
From 529 in 2021 to 588 in 2022, the total number of authorised firms (AFs) increased by 11%. The DFSA also noted a shift in the types of firms authorised, with more innovative firms being registered through the DFSA's money services regime and its Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) Programme.
As part of its efforts to keep the DIFC's integrity and protect people who use financial services, the DFSA took 10 enforcement actions and sent out 15 scam alerts in 2022.
In addition, through the DFSA’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform (DFSA TIP), 8,153 cyber events were shared in 2022, consisting of more than 2 million Indicators of Compromise. Intel on these risks were shared with more than 236 members that are connected to the platform.
In early November 2022, as part of the DFSA’s ESG agenda, the Task Force for Sustainable Finance (TFSF) issued its Climate and Environmental Risk Management publication featuring insights from seven TFSF members on how best to address and mitigate the physical and transition risks stemming from climate change, as well as broader environmental risks in the UAE.
The DFSA also issued Markets Brief 26 outlining best practice guidelines on ESG bonds in late November, which will provide practical support to the continuing development of the largest green bond/sukuk market in the region. The DFSA will supplement this early in 2023 with best practice advice for the market on Greenwashing.
“As a forward-looking and proactive regulator, we continue to respond to the rapidly changing financial services landscape by being more innovative, more assertive, and more adaptive. The vision of the leadership of Dubai and the UAE set the tone by continually evolving and future-proofing to respond to the challenges and opportunities of this ever-evolving sector,” Al Ali concluded.