As a committed member, the United Arab Emirates contributes to global anti money laundering (AML) efforts and combating financing of terrorism (CFT), and strives to fully implement the standards set by the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Therefore, Federal Decree-Law No. (20) of 2018 on Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organizations, and subsequent laws and regulations have been issued. The law requires all establishments, regulated by licensing authorities all over the UAE to meet the AML regulations requirments including those Licensed by the non-financial free zones such as Creative City.
In line with the UAE’s interest in and commitment to enforcing AML/CFT legislation. Creative City have implemented new procedures and tools to help investors meet the requirements in timely manner through supporting several initiatives and basic operational action plans emanating from the National Strategy on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (2020-2023) and the National Action Plan.
Creative City strives to continuously improve the effective implementation of an overall government system that aims to mitigate the risks of money laundering, terrorist financing and financing of illegal organizations.
For more details on the organizational structure of the UAE’s money laundering framework. Please visit the UAE’s Ministry of Economy at:
Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions
As part of the UAE government’s efforts to prevent money-laundering, a series of guidelines for designated non-financial businesses and professions (“DNFBPs”) have been recently issued.
Such DNFBPs provide coverage amidst various high-risk industries, including:
- Real Estate – Transactions involving the sale, purchase, leasing (or financing) of real estate have posed a great risk towards money laundering practices and, subsequently, facilitating further criminal operations.
- Precious Metals and Stones – Cabinet Decision No. (10) of 2019 identified this category when dealers engaged in carrying out monetary transactions. Therefore, subjecting them to specific anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing obligations under UAE legislation.
- Accounting and Auditing Services – the UAE government, through its legislative framework, has implemented regulations on commercial companies and financial institutions to regulate the auditing profession. Specific obligations have been imposed on auditors with regard to the direct nature and content of their duties.
- Company Service Providers – parties engaged as services providers should determine the appropriate policies, procedures and controls related to the adequate retention, organization and maintenance of records.
- Legal consultancies – legal consultancy firms (except lawyers and Notary Publics)
In light of the above, alongside supplemental guidance, the Ministry of Economy has issued circulars providing in-depth details of anti-money laundering practices in connection with the DNFBPs.
For more details about the circulars, please refer to the below links.
First Stage: Registration Steps to the protection system SACM
Second Stage: Registration Steps to goAML system
Steps on how to file suspicious transaction reports through goAML
For more details please visit the Ministry of Economy website.
Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) Declaration
All Creative City’s registered establishments must submit the registers of UBO’s and Partners / Shareholder and Nominee Directors no later than 30 June 2021 by filling the following UBO Declaration form for existing investors and at the time of License Registration for new applications.
Failure to submit details of the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) will result in fines and penalties imposed by the Ministry of Economy.
The UBO Law applies to all establishments licensed and registered in the UAE, except for those that are wholly owned by a local or federal government body or listed in the stock market. The UAE Cabinet Decision No. 53/2021 establishes penalties to be imposed in the event of failure to submit the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) as follow:
To submit UBO Declaration please click on the button below: