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Comprehensive Changes Made To DIFC Laws

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

26 December 2012


The Dubai International Financial Centre Authority has confirmed the enactment of four new laws, the Employment Law Amendment Law, the Real Property Law Amendment Law, the Data Protection Amendment Law, and the Non-Profit Incorporated Organisation Law, by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.

The Non Profit Incorporated Organisations Law introduces a new regime for non-profit organisations whose purpose is to support the growth and development of the financial services sector in the DIFC. Under the new legislation, non-profit organisations wanting to establish in the DIFC will have to incorporate as bodies corporate, founding members have to be residents of the UAE and they may only carry on authorised activities as defined in the Non Profit Incorporated Organisations Law.

The amendments to the Employment Law, Real Property Law and Data Protection Law seek to provide greater legal certainty by addressing a number of deficiencies and impracticalities which have been identified since the establishment of the DIFC in consultations launched in December 2011.

The four laws will come into force on December 23, 2012 and have been made available online. The Board of Directors of the DIFC Authority also made regulations under the Non Profit Incorporated Organisations Law and the Data Protection Law, which will also come into force from this date.

The DIFC - which only became operational in 2004 - boasts world-leading companies including 17 of the world’s top 25 banks, eight of the world’s ten largest insurers, eight out of the top 15 law firms, 10 of the top 20 money managers and seven of the top ten consultancies. One of Dubai's many free zones, the DIFC has a highly attractive tax and regulatory regime, offering firms 0% income tax guaranteed for 50 years, 100% foreign ownership, no exchange controls and a legal system based on English common law.

TAGS: tax | business | tax avoidance | law | banking | financial services | international financial centres (IFC) | offshore | legislation | offshore banking | tax planning | tax rates | standards | regulation | Dubai | services

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