Mazen Boustany


The UAE has pioneered a new insolvency regime for individuals or natural persons with the issuance of the stand-alone Insolvency Law No. 19 of 2019 (Insolvency Law), which has come to effect as of 30 November 2019. The Insolvency Law is intended to provide sufficient protections to natural or civil persons who are facing financial distress and are unable to settle their debts, unlike the UAE Bankruptcy Law which regulates commercial companies and individuals considered…

In the past year the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has witnessed a number of important developments in the area of compliance and financial crime which will have a significant impact on the risk exposure of companies operating in the UAE for the foreseeable future. Over time, collectively, these changes will have a profound impact on the compliance environment in the UAE, particularly as it relates to financial crimes, and companies can no longer approach compliance issues casually.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has reinforced its position as one of the world’s top financial and business centres, introducing changes to its companies regime and enhancing the ease of doing business in the centre. On 12 November 2018, the DIFC has issued amongst other laws and regulations, the DIFC Companies Law No. 5 of 2018 (Companies Law 2018), repealing the previous Companies Law No. 2 of 2009 (Previous Law).

The UAE has issued by Decree Federal Law No. (10) of 2018 on Netting (the UAE Netting Law), with the aim of strengthening the regulatory framework for the settlement of obligations arising from qualified financial contracts. Parties to a contract previously relied on Article 183 of Federal Law No. (9) of 2016 on Bankruptcy (the Bankruptcy Law) to settle debts agreed to under a contract, provided that it is within the context of insolvency and that such contract does not fall within the claw-back provisions (Article 168 of the Bankruptcy Law).