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Samir Safar-Aly, LL.M.

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On 2 October 2023, the UAE issued Federal Law No. 54 of 2023, which amended Federal Law No. 14 of 2018 on the Central Bank and the Organization of Financial Institutions and Financial Activities (the “Central Bank Law”) and changed the definition of currency to include a “National Digital Currency”. The amendment to the Central Bank Law was published in the Official Gazette on 31 October 2023. Article 57.4 of the Central Bank Law has…

In brief The United Arab Emirates’ (“UAE”) federal-level financial services regulator relevant to securities, commodities and now Virtual Assets Service Providers (“VASPs”), the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (“SCA”), has just issued two new regulations relevant to Virtual Assets (“VAs”): SCA Chairman of the Board of Director’s Decision No. (26/RM) of 2023 in relation to Virtual Assets Platform Operators (the “SCA VA Exchange Regulations”); and SCA Chairman of the Board of Director’s Decision No. (27/RM)…

On 3 February 2020, the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) announced that the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court sentenced a former Chairman of an Abu Dhabi Government-owned company, as well as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to 15 years’ imprisonment for money laundering. In addition to receiving a 15-year imprisonment sentence, the individuals were ordered to return around AED 8 billion (approx. USD 2.18 billion) in misappropriated public funds, pay compensation to the companies they represented…

On 31 January 2021, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Central Bank (CBUAE) publicly announced that it had sanctioned 11 banks in the UAE a total of AED 45.76 million (approx. USD 12.46 million) for failures to achieve appropriate levels of compliance with regards to Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and local UAE sanctions compliance. The sanctions, imposed on 24 January, were imposed pursuant to Article 14 of the Federal Decree Law…

Signing of the “Al-Ula Declaration” ending trade and other restrictions against Qatar As reported in our previous client update, on 5 January 2021, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, along with Egypt, signed the “Al-Ula Declaration” at the 41st GCC Summit held in the city of Al-Ula. This marks the end of a three and a half year boycott…