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Last updated on 17 May 2024

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AML/CFT laws and related decisions

Possession or concealment of criminal proceeds has been considered a crime according to the legislation of the United Arab Emirates since 1987. However, in 2002, the UAE issued the first special penal legislation criminalizing money laundering in accordance with the provisions of the international agreements and recommendations (Federal Law No. (4) of 2002). This legislation was amended in 2014 and its executive regulation was issued to comply with the amendments that occurred in the recommendations of the FATF.

As part of the country’s preparations for the second round of the mutual evaluation process of the member countries of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) in 2018, Federal Decree Law No. (20) of 2018 was issued on anti-money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism and financing of illegal organizations, which repealed Federal Law No. (4) of 2002. Its Executive Regulation was also issued pursuant to Cabinet Resolution No. (10) of 2019.

For the purposes of continuously updating the AML/CFT legislative framework in line with international recommendations, operational challenges, and rapid developments in the field of combating financial crime, Federal Decree Law No. (26) of 2021 was issued amending some provisions of Federal Decree Law No. (20) of 2018, and a Cabinet Decision No. (24) of 2022 was also issued amending some provisions of Cabinet Decision No. (10) of 2019 regarding the Executive Regulations.