Ruler of Dubai Signs New Law to Set Up The Dubai International Financial Centre

Dubai today took the giant, penultimate step towards the creation of the Middle East's first truly world Class International Financial Centre.

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, issued the Dubai Law which defines the functions to be carried out by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The law is known as "The Law of the Dubai International Financial Centre".

The Government of the United Arab Emirates has already approved a federal decree to establish the DIFC as a capital market directly modelled on best practice in the leading world markets including the City of London, Hong Kong and Wall Street.

The final step will be the enactment of the DIFC legislation creating the legal framework, transparency and independent Regulation needed to ensure the confidence of the global and regional Investment and business communities.

This final signing will be the defining moment when Dubai realises its ambition to have its own financial capital market equal in quality to London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and New York. The development of the DIFC is now likely to move fast and it is expected that the first operating Licences will have been granted to a number of major Banks and Financial Institutions as early as next week.

The Dubai Law enacted by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum, coupled with the earlier federal decree, is an unprecedented legislative innovation because it vests in the Dubai International Financial Centre a remarkable degree of legislative freedom. This gives the DIFC a unique position in the global economy and one that is designed to make it a magnet to attract business from the world's leading Banks and Financial Institutions.

It also enshrines clearly and unambiguously in law the independence of the regulator, the DIFC Financial Services Authority (DFSA), of which Dr. Habib Al Mulla is Chairman and David King is Chief Executive.

These final steps on the DIFC journey mean that the vision first expounded as recently as February 2002 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum will have resulted in the drafting and completion of an entire legal and regulatory environment based on global best practice, in record time.