Compliance Requirements relating to Beneficial Owners in UAE

Compliance Requirements relating to Beneficial Owners in UAE


The UAE Cabinet has on 24th August 2020 published Cabinet Decision No. 58/2020 On the Regulation of Procedures Relating to Real Beneficiaries (“the Cabinet Decision”). 

The provisions of this Cabinet Decision shall apply to all companies licensed and registered in the UAE, including commercial free zones. This Cabinet Decision does not apply to companies directly or indirectly owned by the Federal or Local governments and companies registered in the financial free zones (DIFC & ADGM).

Important Points 

  • The New Cabinet Decision requires all companies or legal persons licensed or registered in the UAE to maintain Register of Real Beneficial Owners, a Register of Partners or Shareholders and a Register of Nominee Management Members.  
  • A Real Beneficiary is defined as a physical person who owns or ultimately controls the company, through direct or indirectly at least 25% or more of the capital of the company. 
  • The Real Beneficiary Register shall contain the following details of each Real Beneficiary: 

            a) Full name, nationality, date and place of birth

            b) Place of residence or address 

            c) Details of passport or identity card (including place and date of issue and expiry dates) 

           d) Basis on which the individual became a Real Beneficiary of the company and the date the individual acquired this capacity

           e) The date on which the individual ceased to be a Real Beneficiary 

Submission of Information

The Cabinet Decision requires that all companies shall within sixty (60) days from the date of publication of this decision or from the date of licensing or registration of the company, shall submit details of the Real Beneficiary Register and the Register of partners or shareholders to the relevant authority. 

Any changes to the Registers shall be updated and the relevant authorities shall be notified of this change within fifteen (15) days of the occurrence of this change. 

Although the cutoff date for filing the Real Beneficiary information with the authorities is towards the end of this month, we are still awaiting information with regard to the implementation of this process. 

While a requirement to maintain a Register of Shareholders or Partners has always been there in the UAE, the requirement to maintain a register of Real Beneficial Owners and Nominee Management officials is a new responsibility. This decision is another step taken by the UAE in its continuous efforts to combat money laundering and to increase clarity and coordination between countries internationally. 

The content of this article is a general guide to the subject matter. Please seek specific specialist advice for your circumstances. 

To know more, please feel free to contact: Deepa

Related Articles