The UAE’s Financial Services regulatory framework

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The UAE’s Financial Services regulatory framework

The UAE’s Financial Services regulatory framework

This #WebinarWednesdays session is in collaboration with the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) where we will be discussing how financial services are regulated in the UAE, who are the different regulators, the drivers of DFSA regulatory policy, and the different DFSA licensing processes.  The session will be looking at a few topics such as:

  • Where the DFSA and the DIFC fits into the financial services framework of the UAE and how the DFSA regulatory policy and rule-making processes work.
  • How the Innovation Testing License works.
  • How a financial services company obtains a DFSA financial services authorisation.


Elisabeth Wallace, Senior Policy & Strategy Manager, joined the DFSA in October 2014. Elisabeth leads the DFSA’s policy work on FinTech and was responsible for creating the DFSA's regulatory framework for Crowdfunding, as well as the DFSA's Innovation Testing Licence - the DFSA’s regulatory sandbox.  Elisabeth also represents the DFSA on the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) co-ordination board. Before joining the DFSA, Elisabeth led the Conduct Regulation team at the Association of British Insurers, where she managed a team of policy advisers responsible for influencing UK and EU conduct regulation of the insurance and pension markets. A finance professional skilled in Asset Management, International Relations, Financial Regulation, and Policy Analysis, Elisabeth holds a Bachelor of Laws and Arts from the University of Canterbury, and is admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor to the High Court of New Zealand.

Khawla Al Ali, Manager, Supervision, joined the DFSA in August 2016 and she is part of the DFSA’s Operational and Technology Risk team which leads the supervisory responsibility for fintech-related Authorised Firms engaged in crowdfunding, money services, and other financial services activities that leverage blockchain, distributed ledger, and other nascent technologies. Khawla leads the DFSA’s work on RegTech and she is actively involved in the Global Financial Innovation Network (the GFIN) and its work on facilitating innovation across financial services globally.

Nick Walling, Senior Manager, Supervision, Nick has spent 42 years in financial services, including commercial banking (NatWest Bank, UK) and regulation (Central Bank/DFSA, UAE).  At the DFSA, his experience has enabled him to cover a range of activities, including licensing, supervision and Enquiries related activities (since 2011). The Enquiry role means dealing tactfully with all potential applicants, and requires good working relationships with DIFCA and advisory firms.  The role includes enquiry meetings, RBP reviews and application acceptance and allocation.  He is also the first point of contact for many general enquiries and perimeter issues.