Dubai ruler enacts new DIFC trust and foundation laws

The new laws are designed to help families with their wealth and succession planning



UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has enacted two new laws in free zone Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) designed to improve wealth management and succession planning offered there.

The new trust law builds on existing legislation through enhancements to promote better trust administration, provide greater certainty and flexibility for settlors, trustees and beneficiaries and contains several technical amendments.

The new foundations law introduces a “completely new regime” alongside the existing DIFC companies law and trust law to promote better creditor protection, succession planning and private wealth planning for family businesses.

It should also provide greater certainty and flexibility to private wealth management and charitable organisations, according to the announcement.

The foundations law is designed to provide an environment for foundations to be established or act from DIFC and contains provisions relating to the power of the Registrar of Companies, who will administer the law on behalf of the DIFC Authority.

“Providing a world-class legal and regulatory environment has always been a key priority for us at DIFC. We constantly explore new ways to shape the financial landscape in the region,” said DIFC governor Essa Kazim.

“Insights from our clients, industry and Wealth Management Working Group have been reflected in the laws which have been enacted to ensure the DIFC community, which is the largest in the MEASA region, can continue to explore new ways to grow.”

DIFC is aiming to become a leading centre for private wealth management and one of the world’s top 10 financial centres by 2024.

The centre attracted 315 new companies last year.

Read: Dubai’s DIFC attracts 315 new companies in 2017