Recognised Bodies

Article 37 of the DIFC Markets Law prohibits a person which operates an exchange, clearing house or alternative trading system from a place of business outside the DIFC from providing direct access to its facilities to persons in the DIFC unless such operator is admitted to the list of recognised persons maintained by the DFSA pursuant to Article 37 of the Markets Law.

Article 37 of the Markets Law defines a Recognised Body as an exchange, clearing house or alternative trading system that operates in a jurisdiction outside the DIFC and which has been admitted to, and appears on, the list of Recognised Bodies maintained by the DFSA.

The following is a guide for exchanges, clearing houses or settlement facilities seeking status as Recognised Bodies:

  • Applying for Recognised Body Status
  • Tips for applicants
  • Fees
  • Supervision as A Recognised Body
  • Guidance

Apply for Recognised Body Status

An exchange, clearing house or alternative trading system outside the DIFC seeking status as a Recognised Body, must meet the recognition criteria that are set out in the DFSA's Recognition Module.

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact the DFSA's Markets team at [email protected].

Tips for Applicants

  1. Read the Markets Law, the Markets Law Recognition Module, the Fees Module, and the Regulatory Policy and Process Sourcebook before you begin your application.
  2. Contact the DFSA's Markets team at [email protected] to inquire about the Recognition application process and the relevant Rec Body application to complete.
  3. Be as comprehensive as possible. If the DFSA needs to request further information, any delay in providing it will have an impact on the time it takes to process your application. Although processing time varies on a case-by-case basis, the DFSA endeavours to process all applications in a timely manner.
  4. Review your application, particularly when using consultants or legal advisers - you are the one who knows your business best. You are also responsible for any information contained in the application.
  5. Submit all your documents at once - your signed application and all the requested attachments.
  6. Where an application fee is applicable, ensure you have paid this.
  7. Nominate a contact person within your firm to be responsible for managing the application process and to assist the DFSA with any enquiries.


According to the DFSA's Fees module, a person applying for a Recognised Body status must pay an application fee of USD 15,000. There is also an annual fee of USD 1,000. If an applicant is initially recognised part way through a year, the fee for that initial year will be calculated on a pro rata basis (i.e. the initial fee is calculated as the annual fee, multipled by the number of whole calendar months between the date of recognition and the end of the year divided by 12).

Supervision as a Recognised Body

A Recognised Body is required to deal with the DFSA in an open and co-operative manner. This includes keeping the DFSA promptly informed of certain significant events that are specified in the Recognition Module, as well as submitting a copy of annual reports and accounts.

The DFSA relies upon the home Financial Services Regulator to act as the primary regulator of the Recognised Body. The focus of the DFSA’s interest will be on activities that have nexus to the DIFC.

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