Partnering with the DIFC since 2006

Since becoming the first specialist regulatory compliance consultancy in the DIFC in 2006, CCL has a long and successful record of DFSA licensing applications and has assisted over 200 firms in this process to date.

The authorisation process can be daunting, below we provide an overview of the DIFC regulatory environment, DFSA authorisation and how CCL can assist you with the licensing process as well as providing ongoing advice 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 firm 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 Firm need to be regulated by the DFSA?

Any firm 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.

Our article, Should your Firm apply for a Retail Endorsement? can provide additional insight into this regime.

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 Centre's flexible and cost-efficient Fund Regime offers a number of attractive opportunities.  CCL's Guide to the DIFC Fund Regime provides concise information to support your decision-making process.

How can CCL help?

We will advise you on, coordinate and project-manage the entire application from start to finish, give you clear guidance, and keep you up to date with each stage of the process. We will also help 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. Our documentation will not only get you through the authorisation process but also provide you with a firm compliance foundation for your business to grow from.

Post authorisation, our highly experienced consultants can 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.

To find out more about the DIFC and the DFSA Authorisation process, contact our DIFC-Based Authorisations team now.

We have a dedicated team of experienced compliance consultants who can provide expert assurance and peace of mind. Get in touch to see how we can help your Firm.