United_Arab_Emirates United Arab Emirates

New Documents

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates issued a press release underscoring the country’s exit from the enhanced monitoring process by the Financial Action Task Force.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority is seeking feedback on proposed regulatory updates for crypto tokens. Comments are due by March 4, 2024.


Enforcement Actions

The Dubai Financial Services Authority published an enforceable undertaking against R.J. O’Brien (MENA) Capital Limited, known as RJO MENA, for failing to maintain records of electronic communications of transactions and poor compliance with client onboarding rules, among other violations.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority imposed a $373,842 monetary penalty on the United Arab Emirates-based bank for failure to identify and report market abuse and suspicious trades.

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 : 15 High : 0
Largely Compliant : 24 Substantial : 1
Partially Compliant : 1 Moderate : 6
Non-Compliant : 0 Low : 4

The United Arab Emirates' technical compliance was re-rated in a July 5, 2023 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