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DIFC enacts new Family Arrangements Regulations

Content updates

The regulations are set out to make comprehensive provision for the engagement of family businesses with DIFC, to manage their businesses for the preservation of their wealth and the succession and legacy planning.

The rules were drafted to take advantage of the recognition of family business structures in free zones, such as DIFC, and the authority provided in the recent enactment of UAE Decree Law No (37) of 2022 concerning the UAE Family Business Law, to keep a private family business register to look into the conditions and benefits provided for family businesses, pursuant to the provisions of the UAE Family Business Law.


The new DIFC Family Arrangements Regulations replace the previous Single Family Office regime with a new Family Office regime that can be in the service of one or more families eliminating the requirement to register as a Designated Non-Financial Business or Profession (DNFP) with the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

However, Multifamily offices will require authorisation and licensing by the DFSA if they come up with financial services to multiple families relating to business.

The guidelines also contain certification and accreditation regimes for family businesses and their advisors in DIFC. The main purpose of the certification and accreditation programs is to comply with the principles of good conduct and governance and to ensure that advisors adhere to superior quality and skill when giving advises to families.

Pascale Dona
By Pascale Dona
Senior Legal Editor

Pascale Dona joined Thomson Reuters in 2014 as Content Specialist. In 2007, Pascale graduated from the Lebanese University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Law, then moved to France and completed her Master’s degree in International Law from Nice Sophia Antipolis University. Pascale has more than 10 years of experience as legal Specialist in Lebanon and UAE. She is a native Arabic speaker and proficient in English and French.

Pascale is currently a Senior Legal Editor for Thomson Reuters MENA. She is based in Dubai and is responsible for maintaining and providing the latest legal content for the MENA region.

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