Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions

As part of the UAE government’s efforts to prevent money-laundering, a series of guidelines for designated non-financial businesses and professions (“DNFBPs”) have been recently issued.

Such DNFBPs provide coverage amidst various high-risk industries, including:

  • Real Estate - Transactions involving the sale, purchase, leasing (or financing) of real estate have posed a great risk towards money laundering practices and, subsequently, facilitating further criminal operations.
  • Precious Metals and Stones – Cabinet Decision No. (10) of 2019 identified this category when dealers engaged in carrying out monetary transactions. Therefore, subjecting them to specific anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing obligations under UAE legislation.
  • Accounting and Auditing Services – the UAE government, through its legislative framework, has implemented regulations on commercial companies and financial institutions to regulate the auditing profession. Specific obligations have been imposed on auditors with regard to the direct nature and content of their duties.
  • Company Service Providers – parties engaged as services providers should determine the appropriate policies, procedures and controls related to the adequate retention, organization and maintenance of records.

In light of the above, alongside supplemental guidance, the Ministry of Economy has issued circulars providing in-depth details of anti-money laundering practices in connection with the DNFBPs.

For more details about the circulars, please refer to the below links.

Consistent with the UAE government’s ongoing efforts to minimize risk exposure, the Ministry of Economy has issued a list of high-risk jurisdictions and jurisdictions subject to increased monitoring.

Designated non-financial business and professions are required to, on a regular basis, review the lists and implement necessary actions. For further details regarding the Ministry of Economy’s circulars, please refer to the circular below.

Pursuant with the UAE government’s compliance regulations, the Ministry of Economy has introduced legal consultancy firms (except lawyers and Notary Publics) to the Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions list.

Legal consultancies incorporated within the UAE are required to implement the necessary actions provided under Circular No. 7 of 2021. For further information, please refer to the link below.