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10 March 2022, 9:46


An overview of Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed's five principles for combating illegal financial flows in the UAE.

The 5 principles

According to an article published by Forbes Middle East, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed said the country is making “strong progress” towards preventing illicit financial flows and restoring the UAE to its position as “one of the strongest and most respected economies in the world”.

As things stand, the UAE’s approach will be a significant step forward in preventing illicit financial flows. In today’s global economy, illicit finance poses a threat to the international reputation of the UAE as well as its world-class financial sector.


Sheikh Abdullah outlined five principles to address the issue in his article:


1. Recognize the scale and complexity of the situation requiring an active partnership between government and industry. 

Divisions between financial institutions, regulators, and law enforcement agencies will be eliminated, allowing them to share knowledge more easily.

2. A common goal: The need for a common goal across the economy, to prevent, detect and deter illicit activity in the financial system. 

Government intelligence can often provide unique information about specific illicit actors, or trends across financial institutions and sectors, but without any specific details about transactions. 

While financial institutions can observe payment flows within their firms, they lack detailed information about illicit actors or trends across other financial institutions. Therefore, Coordination among all financial institutions would be beneficial to all parties. 

3. The UAE is using advanced analytics, technology, investigation, and public-private partnership to sharpen its collective defences.

This technology is made nowhere else than in the UAE. The talented people who are around are the core fundament of any innovation and the pioneers and innovators of the 3rd Principle. 

This activity is taking place in government-backed ecosystems such as Hub71, adds another dimension to the importance of such ecosystems, and makes it clear why companies such as DX Compliance are thriving within them. It is the reason that they are being opened worldwide enabling innovation producing advanced technology.

4. Working closely and collaboratively with international partners.

Competition brings quality in every industry even for regulators and governments. A collaborative approach is the only one forward globally, all benefiting from a safer, more transparent world.

5. Continue to conduct economy-wide risk assessments on money laundering and terrorist financing. 

Funny enough, our CEO Simon Dix spoke on this during our first lunch and learn event, diving deeply into risk assessments and sharing experiences and thoughts with professionals from the private sector and government officials alike. It underlines the importance of the fifth principle and the importance of training, awareness, and education.

The complexities of life are often reflected in the complex challenges that technology tries to solve. RegTech is a combination of different technologies, going far beyond the buzzwords often used, but whether Vendor, Regulated Entity, individual citizen, or a Government agency, it is important to try and abide by such principles for the greater good.

By continuing with our disciplined approach, we will enact a true step change in our ability to prevent illicit financial flows and realise our goal of making the UAE one of the strongest and most respected economies in the modern world.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed

What Tech start-ups can do and what DX is doing

The growth of technology and the spread of globalization and internationalization have been beneficial to economies such as that of The UAE, but they have also presented opportunities for criminals around the world to exploit the growth of crimes in financial and non-financial services which significantly increases the levels of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Tech start-ups can support the fight against financial crime in terms of innovating faster than criminals and listening to their customers’ needs and experiences actively instead of concentrating only on the number of contracts signed.

While not every tech start-up is a leader (a term which should be used to define the company’s ability to solve significant pain points for clients, ideally in new ways that challenge the status quo, and should not be defined by levels of capital that they needed to raise), leadership in tech is important for us at DX. We don’t believe in copycats, we believe in Innovation. Innovation that supports principles such as those mentioned within the 5 pillars and enables us to be in a world where we can prevent and detect threats.

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