Published: Feb 8, 2023

Family Arrangements Regulations 2023

In connection with the set up of the Global Family Business and Private Wealth Centre, the DIFC has implemented the new “Family Arrangements Regulations 2023”. Effective on the 31st of January 2023, the DIFC issued the New Regulations to provide a framework for the Centre initiative. The regulations provide substance to the Centre and the way in which families can interact with it, enabling them to take full advantage of the DIFC offering when structuring their family business ownership and private wealth.

The Family Arrangement Regulation establishes a new extensive family offices regime that facilitates and supports, in accordance with the relevant DIFC Laws, the maintenance of family arrangements, enabling families to enhance their operations within the DIFC, ensuring the preservation of wealth, and facilitating succession and legacy planning.

The New Regulations repeal and replace the Single Family Office Regulation (SFO). The Regulations provide an automatic status change from the previous Single Family Office that was established under the previous regulations, to become a Family Office under the new provisions. The new regime provides more flexibility, allowing services to be provided to one or more than one family.  In addition, the Regulations have repealed the requirements for a family business to have a designated non-financial business or profession register (DNFBP).

The provisions of the new Regulations set out requirements for the creation of a Private Register to disclose information such as shareholders, interest holders, directors and officers of a Family Office to be maintained by a designated registrar. The New Regulations set out the manner in which services are provided to family businesses in the DIFC by accredited advisors, corporate services providers and registered persons in the DIFC.

The New Regulations also set out the mechanisms therein which Family Entities or trusts within a Family Structure may incorporate binding arbitration procedures in the event of dispute.

Finally, the New Regulations provide terms under which the Registrar may enter into arrangements with a Corporate Services Provider, enabling administrative access to the Corporate Services Provider to streamline onboarding and compliance.

The DIFC continues to take an innovative approach to enhance the offering that the DIFC provides to family businesses wishing to operate by. The New Regulations have been designed to further enhance the position of the DIFC as one of the world’s prominent locations for private wealth structuring.

How can we help?

Al Tamimi and Company’s leading Family Business Practice have lawyers dedicated to the provision of tailored and sensitive legal advice to the leading families in the UAE and the wider gulf region.  We will be happy to discuss any questions you may have arising from the issue of the new Family Arrangement Regulations.