Federal Law No.
8 of 2004
Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates State,
to the perusal of the Constitution; and
Law no. 1 of 1972 regarding the Jurisdictions of the Ministries and the
Competences of the Ministers, and the amending laws thereof; and
Law no. 10 of 1980 regarding the Central Bank, the Monetary System, and the
Regulation of the Banking Profession, and the amending laws thereof; and
Law no. 8 of 1984 regarding the Commercial Companies and the amending laws
Law no. 9 of 1984 regarding Insurance Companies and Agents, and the amending
laws thereof; and
Code issued by virtue of the Federal Law no. 3 of 1987; and
on Criminal Procedures issued by virtue of the Federal Law no. 35 of 1992;
Law no. 4 of 2000 regarding the Emirates Securities and Commodities Market
Authority (ESCA); and
Law no. 4 of 2002 regarding the Incrimination of Money Laundering; and
upon the proposal of the Minister of Economy and Commerce, and the Minister of
Finance and Industry, the consent of the Cabinet and the Federal National
Council, and the approval of the Federal Supreme Council,
promulgated the following Law:
The United Arab Emirates State.
: The free zone established in any of the State emirates
practicing financial activities.
: The banking and financial services and activities, insurance
and reinsurance, financial markets, and supporting activities licensed to be
practiced in the financial free zone.
: Monetary and financial brokerage services, consultations, the
provision services and merchandise to companies, institutions and individuals in
the financial free zones.
: Financial banking activities and banks
: Companies and branches thereof, and institutions
established or licensed to work in the financial free zones.
financial free zone shall be established by virtue of a federal
It shall have a juridical personality and shall be duly represented by the
Chairman of the Board of Directors thereof.
be solely liable for the commitments resulting from the practice thereby of the
Cabinet shall specify the location and area thereof.
financial free zones, and all operations carried out therein shall be subject to
the provisions of the Federal Law no. 4 of 2002 regarding the Incrimination of
financial zones and activities shall be subject as well to the provisions of the
Federal Laws, with the exception of the civil and commercial federal laws.
financial free zones shall commit to the following:
regard to the financial banking activities:
license shall be restricted to the branches of companies and institutions,
participating companies, and companies owned entirely by any thereof, provided
that it enjoys a strong financial status and a complete organizational and
administrative structure. It shall be managed by experts in such kind of
Licensed companies and institutions in the financial free zones must not deal in
deposits from the State market or in the Emirati Dirham.
Standards of licensing of companies, branches of companies, and institutions
must not be lower than the ones applied in the State.
Financial brokers licensed in exchange market in the State may not be licensed
to practice the activities thereof in the financial free markets unless after
the obtainment of the approval of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Market
Companies listed in any of the exchange markets in the State may not be listed
unless after the obtainment of the approval of the Emirates Securities and
Commodities Market Authority.
limitation of the practice of the insurance activity in the State to
actual presence of the companies and institutions licensed to work through the
free zones shall be limited to the scope of such zones. Such companies and
institutions may be licensed to work outside the State.
financial free zones shall undertake not to carry out any work that may lead to
any breach of the international conventions ratified or to be ratified by the
financial free zones may conclude memorandums of understanding and cooperation
with similar entities and centers, provided that such memorandums do not
contradict the conventions to which the State is party.
financial free zones shall undertake to publish bi-annual reports regarding the
activities thereof and the abidance thereby by the provisions hereof.
Competent authorities in the federal government may carry out inspections of the
financial free zones to verify the abidance thereby by the provisions hereof.
The outcome of such inspections shall be submitted to the Cabinet to take
adequate action in this regard.
Subject to the provisions of Article 3, the pertinent emirate – within the
scope of the purpose behind the establishment of the financial free market
– may issue necessary legislations for the performance thereby of the work
Cabinet decision, and for a period not exceeding four years from the date of
establishment thereof, the financial free zones may grant licenses to companies
and institutions to practice the works thereof outside the administrative and
geographical borders of such zones in the State.
Cabinet shall issue the Implementing Regulation of the provisions hereof.
present Law shall be published in the Official Gazette, and shall come into
force as of the date of publication thereof.
by Us at the Presidential
Palace in Abu Dhabi
On 23 Muharram 1425
Corresponding to 14 March 2004
Zayed Bin Sultan
President of the
United Arab Emirates State
This Federal Law has been published in the
Official Gazette, issue no. 409 p. 62.