United Arab Emirates

New Documents

Wally Adeyemo, the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, delivered remarks at a roundtable hosted by the United Arab Emirates Banks Federation, where he congratulated the UAE on its efforts to curtail money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre announced that it hosted a training event in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Economy that aimed at enhancing the capacity of the precious metals industry in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Enforcement Actions

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates imposed a AED352,000 fine on an unnamed exchange house for failing to achieve appropriate levels of compliance with anti-money laundering, counterterrorist financing, and sanctions obligations.

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates imposed an administrative fine of AED19.5 million against an unnamed financial institution for failing to take the necessary urgent actions to strengthen its anti-money laundering and financial sanctions compliance framework.

Important Facts

  • The U.S. State Department identifies the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a jurisdiction of primary concern. Though a stable regional hub for transportation, trade and financial activity, the UAE has expanded its financial services businesses and foreign trade zones, thus opening itself to be misused by illicit actors who exploit the UAE’s open business environment, global banks, exchange houses, and global transportation links to undertake illicit financial activity. Such bad actors use UAE’s complex and uneven regulatory environment, to facilitate bulk cash smuggling, trade-based money laundering and transfer of illicit proceeds. Transfers of illicit funds usually occur through commodities used as counter-valuation in hawala transactions or through trading companies illegally operating as exchange houses. Other money laundering vulnerabilities within the country include the illicit transfer of funds from narcotics produced in Southwest Asia; real estate sector; misuse of international gold and diamond trade; and use of couriers to transfer illicit funds. The UAE has comprehensive know your customer and suspicious transactions reporting regulations and permits its Central Bank freeze assets of suspicious institutions or individuals.  Additionally, the UAE has enhanced due diligence procedures for politically exposed persons, both foreign and domestic, as well as a record exchange mechanism with other governments (excluding the United States).
Source: 2019 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR)  


FATF i | 2013 Methodology

Technical Effectiveness
Compliant : 13 High : 0
Largely Compliant : 23 Substantial : 1
Partially Compliant : 4 Moderate : 6
Non-Compliant : 0 Low : 4

The United Arab Emirates' technical compliance was re-rated in a Jan. 28, 2022 follow-up report.


Rank : 37/141
Score : 5.89/10


Rank : 21/180
Score : 71/100

Tax Justice Network i

Rank : 10/133
Score : 78/100