In fulfilling its mandate as the sole independent financial services regulator for the DIFC, the DFSA performs a number of functions.

  • Policy and Rulemaking
  • Authorisation
  • Recognition
  • Supervision
  • Enforcement
  • International Co-operation

The DFSA’s stated approach is: “To be a risk-based regulator and to avoid unnecessary regulatory burden”. We believe regulation should be directed to the mitigation of risks that would otherwise be unacceptable. We also believe that compliance obligations should be proportionate to the mitigation of those risks within a framework that enables regulated entities to effectively and efficiently meet their compliance obligations.

Under this model, we set priorities for the use of our resources and have adopted a continuous risk management cycle which identifies, assesses, prioritises and mitigates unacceptable risks to our regulatory objectives or a particular sector of our financial services industry. We recognise that these risks may arise from within or outside the DIFC so we regularly monitor regional and international financial markets and trends. This systematic assessment of risk allows us to identify common issues across our regulated community and to undertake necessary thematic work in response.

Our risk-based philosophy applies to all divisions of the DFSA and all our dealings with regulated entities. We believe that focusing more on outcomes rather than the way they should be achieved, results in more effective and efficient risk-based regulation.

The DFSA believes that it is appropriate to clearly and regularly state our approach to regulation to ensure it is clearly understood by all external and internal stakeholders. Our Approach to Regulation together with the DFSA Vision, Mission and Values form the foundation upon which we do our work.

Policy and Rulemaking

The Regulatory Law 2004 gives the DFSA Board of Directors the general power to make rules regarding all matters that are related to our objectives, powers and functions. The rulemaking process normally includes a period of public consultation which gives interested persons the opportunity to comment on the proposed rules. We consider these comments to be a valuable input. Our rulemaking power also allows us to respond quickly and efficiently to matters, trends and events affecting the DIFC

International Co-operation

To achieve our objectives, the DFSA fosters and maintains relationships with other regulatory agencies within Dubai and the UAE, as well as with international bodies, regulators and organisations. For ease of access, a number of links to local registers, the DIFC's two exchanges, DIFC Court decisions, local and English language news sources and telephone directories are provided here.

In the context of non-public information, the DFSA actively pursues alliances and the creation of Memoranda of Understanding with local, national and international bodies, authorities and organisations. These Memoranda facilitate the realisation of the DFSA’s objectives and guiding principles, which include co-operating with and providing assistance to authorities, bodies and organisations in the State and other jurisdictions. In particular, these Memoranda facilitate the way in which regulators can assist each other in the pursuit of individual and common objectives, including through the exchange of information and the use of enforcement powers.

MoUs signed by the DFSA

The traditional mechanism for formalising co-operation between regulatory authorities in different jurisdictions is a bi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

An MoU provides a formal basis for co-operation between regulatory authorities, bodies and organisations, including for the exchange of information and investigative assistance, based on existing laws. This means it cannot make lawful a release of information that would otherwise be unlawful, nor can it compel assistance that can only be voluntary.

It should be noted that the lack of an MoU is no impediment to sharing information and providing assistance to a fellow regulator as the DFSA's authority to share information and assist is based on specific provisions in the Regulatory Law. Chapter 8 of the DFSA Regulatory Policy and Process (RPP Sourcebook) elucidates further on the DFSA exercising powers on behalf of other authorities and sharing information with domestic and foreign regulators, bodies and organisations.

Multi-lateral MoUs

  • The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)
  • The Boca Declaration
  • International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS)
  • IOSCO Africa and Middle East Regional Committee (AMERC)
  • The International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR)

Bi-lateral MoUs:

1 Abu Dhabi Financial Services Regulatory Authority of
2 Australia Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
3 Australia Australian Securities and Investments Commission
4 Bahrain Central Bank of Bahrain
5 Belgium Banking, Finance & Insurance Commission of Belgium [+AIFMD]
6 Canada Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions
7 Cayman Islands Cayman Islands Monetary Authority
8 China China Banking & Insurance Regulatory Commission
9 China China Securities Regulatory Commission
10 Cyprus Central Bank of Cyprus
11 Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
12 Denmark Financial Supervisory Authority (Finanstilsynet)
13 Dubai Dubai Police General Head Quarters
14 Dubai Dubai’s Public Prosecution
15 Dubai Smart Dubai
16 Egypt Central Bank of Egypt
17 Egypt Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority
18 Europe European Securities and Markets Authority (re Credit Rating Agencies)
19 Europe European Securities and Markets Authority (re Central Counterparts)
20 France Banque de France
21 France L’Autorite des Marches Financiers
22 Germany Federal Financial Supervisory Authority of Germany (BAFIN)
23 Greece Hellenic Capital Market Commission
24 Guernsey Financial Services Commission
25 Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission
26 Iceland The Financial Supervisory Authority (Fjarmalaeftirlitid)
27 India Reserve Bank of India
28 India Securities and Exchange Board of India
29 Indonesia Financial Services Authority (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan)
30 Ireland The Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority
31 Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission
32 Isle of Man Insurance and Pensions Authority
33 Italy Bank of Italy (Banca d’Italia)
34 Italy Italian Securities & Exchange Commission (Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa)
35 Japan Financial Services Authority
36 Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
37 Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
38 Jersey Financial Services Commission
39 Jordan Central Bank of Jordan
40 Jordan Insurance Commission of Jordan
41 Jordan Jordan Securities Commission
42 Kazakhstan Astana Financial Services Authority
43 Kuwait Capital Markets Authority
44 Lebanon Banque du Liban
45 Lebanon Capital Markets Authority
46 Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier
47 Malaysia Bank Negara – Islamic Finance
48 Malaysia Securities Commission of Malaysia (re Cooperation and Exchange of Information)
49 Malaysia Securities Commission of Malaysia (re Marketing and Distribution of Islamic Funds)
50 Malta Financial Services Authority
51 Mauritius Financial Services Commission
52 Morocco Bank Al Maghrib
53 Netherlands De Nederlandsche Bank
54 Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets
55 New Zealand New Zealand Securities Commission
56 Oman Central Bank of Oman
57 Oman Capital Markets Authority
58 Portugal Banco de Portugal
59 Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority
60 Russia Central Bank of the Russian Federation
61 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority
62 Singapore Monetary Authority of Singapore
63 South Africa Financial Services Board of South Africa
64 South Africa The Bank Supervision Department of the South African Reserve Bank
65 South Korea Financial Supervisory Commission
66 Sweden Financial Supervisory Authority
67 Switzerland Federal Banking Commission
68 Switzerland Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)
69 Taiwan Financial Supervisory Commission
70 Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission
71 Turkey Capital Markets Board
72 Turkey Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency
73 UAE Central Bank of the UAE
74 UAE Insurance Authority
75 UAE Securities and Commodities Authority
76 UAE Telecommunication Regulatory Authority - Computer Energy Response Team
77 United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority
78 United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (post Brexit)
79 United Kingdom Prudential Regulation Authority
80 United States New York State Banking Department
81 United States Commodity and Futures Trading Commission
82 United States The Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Cooperation
83 United States The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) MoUs:

1 Austria Austrian Financial Market Authority (AIFMD)
2 Belgium Financial Services & Markets Authority
3 Bulgaria Financial Supervision Commission Bulgaria
4 Cyprus Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission
5 Czech Republic Czech National Bank
6 Denmark Financial Supervisory Authority (Finanstilsynet)
7 Estonia Estonian Financial Supervision Authority
8 Finland Finanssivalvonta Finland
9 France L’Autorite des Marches Financiers
10 Greece Hellenic Capital Market Commission
11 Hungary Pénzügyi Szervezetek Allami Felügyelete
12 Iceland The Financial Supervisory Authority (Fjarmalaeftirlitid)
13 Ireland Central Bank of Ireland
14 Italy Italian Securities & Exchange Commission (Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa)
15 Latvia Financial & Capital Market Commission
16 Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority
17 Lithuania Bank of Lithuania
18 Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier
19 Malta Financial Services Authority
20 Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets
21 Norway Financial Supervisory Authority (Finanstilsynet)
22 Poland Financial Supervision Authority
23 Portugal Securities Market Commission
24 Romania Financial Supervisory Authority
25 Spain The National Securities Market Commission (Comision Nacional del Mercado de Valores)
26 Sweden Financial Supervisory Authority
27 United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority



To assist our fellow regulators, particularly in fulfilling their licensing and registration responsibilities, the DFSA has joined other members of IOSCO in an initiative to provide enhanced access to publicly available information. The following links to local registers, the DIFC's two exchanges, DIFC Court decisions, local and national English language news sources and telephone directories are provided here to answer preliminary enquiries and to facilitate the due diligence process.

Requests from regulators and other agencies for non-pubic information should be directed to the DFSA’s Director of International Relations (via Requests: [email protected]), and will be dealth with under existing bi-lateral or multi-lateral protocols (as applicable), the Regulatory Law and the RPP Sourcebook.

Local Register NASDAQ Dubai Market Notices
DIFC Registries Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME)
DIFC Courts DME Members’ List
NASDAQ Dubai (Stock Exchange) DME Market News
NASDAQ Dubai Members’ List DME Market Notices
NASDAQ Dubai Market News Yellow Pages (UAE Directory)
DFSA Media Releases Khaleej Times
DIFC Press Centre The Gulf Today
Gulf News The National


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