To be an internationally respected regulator, leading the development of financial services through strong and fair regulation.


To develop, administer and enforce world-class regulation of financial services within the DIFC.

Regulatory Approach

To be risk-based and to avoid unnecessary regulatory burden.


To expect high standards of ethical conduct and integrity from the DFSA and its people.

To demonstrate professionalism, independence, efficiency, leadership and resolve in the discharge of our responsibilities.

To ensure administrative fairness, consultative process, accessibility, impartiality and accountability in the performance of our functions.

Why We Are Here

  • We authorise and register institutions and individuals who wish to conduct financial services in or from the DIFC.
  • We supervise regulated participants and monitor their compliance with the laws, regulations and rules that apply.
  • We enforce the legislation that we administer.

Our regulatory regime has been tailor-made to suit the DIFC, to the highest international standards. The result is clear and succinct legislation that is appropriate for a modern financial centre.

Objectives and Principles

The DFSA has established, and strives to maintain, an environment that fosters the DIFC guiding principles of integrity, transparency and efficiency. It has done so by embedding uncompromisingly high standards in a clear, succinct and flexible regulatory framework based on international best practices relevant to a modern international financial centre.

In discharging its regulatory mandate, the DFSA has a statutory obligation to pursue the following objectives.

  • To foster and maintain fairness, transparency and efficiency in the financial services industry (namely, the financial services and related activities carried on) in the DIFC.
  • To foster and maintain confidence in the financial services industry in the DIFC.
  • To foster and maintain the financial stability of the financial services industry in the DIFC, including the reduction of systemic risk.
  • To prevent, detect and restrain conduct that causes or may cause damage to the reputation of the DIFC or the financial services industry in the DIFC, through appropriate means including the imposition of sanctions.
  • To protect direct and indirect users and prospective users of the financial services industry in the DIFC.
  • To promote public understanding of the regulation of the financial services industry in the DIFC.
  • To pursue any other objectives as the Ruler may, from time-to-time, set under DIFC Law.

In exercising its powers and performing its functions, the DFSA shall take into consideration the following guiding principles, being the desirability of:

  • Pursuing the objectives of the DIFC as set out under Dubai Law in so far as it is appropriate and proper for the DFSA to do so.
  • Fostering the development of the DIFC as an internationally respected financial centre.
  • Co-operating with and providing assistance to regulatory authorities in the United Arab Emirates and other jurisdictions.
  • Minimising the adverse effects of the activities of the DFSA on competition in the financial services industry.
  • Using its resources in the most efficient way.
  • Ensuring the cost of regulation is proportionate to its benefit.
  • Exercising its powers and performing its functions in a transparent manner.
  • Complying with relevant generally accepted principles of good governance.


The DFSA administers the Regulatory Law 2004, which is the cornerstone legislation of the regulatory regime. The Law establishes the constitution of the DFSA and enables the creation of the regulatory framework within which entities may be licensed, authorised, registered and supervised by the DFSA.

Under the Law, the DFSA has the power to enforce the Law and Rules that apply to all regulated participants within the DIFC.

The DFSA also administers the Markets Law 2012. This law governs the activities and conduct of financial and market participants.

The DFSA also administers the Law Regulating Islamic Financial Business 2004, the Collective Investment Law 2010 and the Investment Trust Law 2006.

The DFSA also strives to detect and prevent money laundering activities within the DIFC, and will work closely with the UAE Central Bank in this vital area.

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