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New regulations to encourage family businesses

DUBAI, October 11, 2021

The Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) has announced new regulations to encourage family businesses to establish Single and Multiple Family Office (SFO & MFO) licences with the free zone.
 
The regulations address the needs of family-run entities and introduce a new platform for wealthy families to set-up offshore holding companies within DWTCA’s designated free zone to manage their private family global wealth, assets and investments, Emirates news agency WAM reproted.
 
Dubai has emerged as one of the most popular cities in the world for ultra-wealthy families, after more than 2,000 high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) moved to the emirate in the first six months of 2021. The city's population of HNWIs rose 3.8 per cent to 54,000, up from 52,000 in December 2020.
 
Speaking on the development, DWTCA Director-General Helal Saeed Al Marri said: "Family businesses are a significant segment within today’s global economic landscape and are integral to the wider international investment community. Following an exceptionally challenging year, family businesses worldwide have shown extraordinary resilience and agility, and are eager to diversify and expand into new markets. 
 
"We recognise the need for a specialised legal and regulatory framework that offers distinct flexibility and fundamental benefits for setting up Single and Multiple Family Offices in Dubai, providing an environment that supports Family Offices to operate successfully."
 
DWTCA’s SFO regulations allow for offshore entities, founded directly by members of a single family, to own and manage their collective wealth, assets, businesses and investments through incorporating a new Free Zone Establishment (FZE) or Free Zone Company (FZCO), subsequently licenced to operate from DWTCA’s designated free zone.
 
The new MFO regulations cater to the growing international professional and wealth management and advisory service industry providers looking to operate and expand their market presence and management portfolios in the MEASA region. MFO licences facilitate and enable services offered to multiple families, their members, businesses, entities, trusts and foundations.
 
Through its new regulatory framework, DWTCA is reaffirming its commitment to family businesses and Dubai’s position as a hub for local, regional and international family offices. The new SFO regulations follow last month’s agreement between DWTCA and the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) to create a framework supporting the regulation, offering, issuance, listing and trading of crypto assets and related financial activities within DWTCA’s free zone.



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