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United Arab Emirates Regulatory Update

25 June 2019

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The Abu Dhabi Global Markets Authority (ADGM) adopted several amendments to their Commercial Legislation recently in a bid to align with the international best practices.


ADGM legal framework consists of 4 sets of legislation: Commercial Legislation, FRSA Legislation, ADGM Court Legislation and Arbitration Legislation. As part of the Commercial Legislation the Commercial Licensing Regulations 2015 was enacted on March 2015. And the latest amendment was adopted in May 2019 and further elaborated in subsequent rules. The latest amendment was enacted in the form of the (Conditions of License and Branch Registration) Rules 2019. Under the Commercial Legislation, the Beneficial Ownership and Control Regulations were enacted in 2018 and moist recently amended in Amendment No. 1 Regulation 2019.

What are the key amendments?

  • Rewording of the definition of the Beneficial Owner to include “any person who holds the position of officer of the company [..]”
  • All License Holders must at all times maintain at least one (1) Authorised Signatory who holds a residency visa issued by a competent authority in the UAE.

What are the actions to be undertaken?

  • Re-asses the company’s position towards the record of beneficial owners, which is required pursuant PART 1 of the UBO Regulations;
  • If the Company has submitted the UBO Record: re-assess the beneficial owner;
  • If the Company has not yet submitted the UBO Record: assess the accurate beneficial owner to include all who fall under the new definition and create and submit the UBO Record;
  • Assess if the appointed authorised signatory meets the new visa requirement as stipulated by the amended rules.

How will Intertrust help?

As an ADGM licensed corporate service provider, Intertrust can assist clients with the initial assessment of qualification of UBO and subsequent required amendment to the UBO Record. Or, as may be applicable, assist with assessment, creation and submission of the UBO Record. We can furthermore assist with the assessment of the appointed Authorised Signatory and if required, provide such an Authorised Signatory.

The Regulations have been enacted as per May 2019. It is the Company’s obligation to ensure full compliance with the applicable Regulations.

Please contact us today to discuss our service offering in reaction to the above.

All defined wording will have the meaning as given in the Commercial Licensing Regulations 2015, the Commercial Licensing Regulations 2015 (Conditions of License and Branch Registration) Rules 2019, Beneficial ownership and Control Regulations 2018 and Beneficial Ownership and Control 2018 (Amendment No. 1) Regulations 2019 and any and all other applicable law and regulations.