The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has passed the DIFC Family Arrangements Regulations following a 30-day public consultation.
This comes months after the financial centre set up the global family business and private wealth centre.
The DIFC Family Wealth Centre and the regulatory changes will “provide a regulatory framework and hub for global and regional family-owned businesses, ultra-high net worth individuals and private wealth, and further differentiate DIFC as a global hub for leading financial institutions and businesses”, the DIFC said.
The key aspects of the Family Arrangement Regulations are set out as follows:
- To make provisions for the engagement of family businesses with DIFC, taking into account the announced initiatives of the UAE Federal Union and the Emirate of Dubai, the recommendations of the DIFC Wealth Management Review, the establishment of the DIFC Family Wealth Centre and the regulatory environment in DIFC;
- To repeal the single family office regulations and DIFC’s single family office regime and replace it with a newly established family office regime that can provide services to a family;
- To revoke the need for a family office to register as a designated non-financial business or profession (DNFBP) with the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)- unless it is providing such services to more than one family by way of business;
- To create a private register for family entities and family offices and a specially designated register for the registration of family businesses, pursuant to the provisions of the UAE Family Business Law;
- To set out arrangements that families can make within DIFC, the preservation of their wealth and the succession and legacy planning, including the manner in which accredited advisers, corporate service providers and registered persons in DIFC can provide services to families in or from DIFC; and
- To establish certification and accreditation regimes for family businesses and their advisers in the DIFC.
In September, International Adviser discussed whether UAE advice clients were unprepared for the wealth transfer as the region has long struggled with the concept of estate and succession planning.