In a bid to contribute towards Dubai’s GDP, the DIFC is creating a hub, specially dedicated towards supporting global family businesses and private wealth. DIFC’s objective includes doubling in size by 2030, confirming Dubai’s strategy as one of the leading global initiatives to drive sustained economic growth. The hub is aimed at empowering family businesses, UHNWIs and Private Wealth.

Further information indicates the implementation of a full range of services, such as those related to  supporting institutions in meeting DIFC standards, and the creation of a foundation to enable future generations to improve succession planning.

This initiative is the first of its kind to hit the region, as well as the world at large. The timing couldn’t be more appropriate, with the transfer of assets to the next generation estimated at well over one and a half trillion US Dollars over the next decade within the Middle East.

The UAE government has prioritised supporting family businesses, which now contribute significantly to the country’s growth. As only a third of all current businesses within the region are being managed by third generation successors, continued support is essential in order for the DIFC to reach its long-term goals and in keeping with its 2030 objectives.

Informative Section – FAQs

This initiative flags up the importance of succession planning as an essential tool of business strategy. However uncertain the future may be, it is essential that people take careful stock of their decisions regarding their assets, and the legalities surrounding those decisions.

The following questions are often asked about the validity of DIFC wills across various jurisdictions.

Will my international assets be protected under a DIFC will?

As of June 2019, a testator making a will may now include his or her international assets.

The effect is far reaching insofar as the conclusion of one all-encompassing will saves time and cost. This is especially attractive to individuals who own assets not only in the UAE but also in other countries.


While a testator may include international assets in the specific jurisdiction where the assets are located in his or her will, it is best to seek professional legal advice as to enforceability of the will. The testator needs to ensure whether the will is going to be effective in the relevant jurisdiction outside the United Arab Emirates.


Should a testator have any questions concerning the enforceability of his or her will, they should contact a lawyer who is suitably experienced and qualified to render legal services within the UAE, and in particular the DIFC with their concerns. The lawyer will make the necessary enquiry with a law firm in the relevant foreign jurisdiction (as indicated in the will.) The lawyer will explain the legal system to the foreign lawyer and indicate the applicable statutory provisions and on analysis of and confirmation as to the enforceability of the testator’s DIFC will.

Factors to consider:

The process, and costs involved will depend on a range of factors including:

  • The number of countries listed in the will other than the United Arab Emirates. (The more countries indicated in the will, the more time-consuming and costly the task will be.)
  • The type of legal system of these countries. (Does the legal system closely resemble that of the DIFC? If so, enforceability may be much simpler as opposed to a country whose legal system bears no resemblance.)
  • Hourly rate of the legal adviser. (This may be dependent on each individual lawyer and case at hand and their experience or position in the firm.)
  • Extent and nature of the assets, (are the assets movable, immovable, and what is the nature of the assets?)


Should a testator require additional clarity as to the enforceability of his or her will, it is highly recommended that they contact a qualified lawyer before proceeding. It is essential to ensure that the desired end result is achieved.

This is a general guide on the subject matter and should not be construed as specific legal advice.

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