The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has instituted stricter reporting requirements for real estate transactions to curb illicit funds transfers.
Under UAE law, “specific real estate transactions” must be reported; This is done to stop money from being laundered or used to fund terrorists.
All real estate agents, lawyers, and law firms are now obligated to report any freehold property sales or purchases that use more than three payment methods to the Financial Intelligence Unit.
According to state news agency Wam on Monday, these include transactions involving at least Dh55,000 ($14,976) in cash, the use of virtual assets, and transactions funded in whole or in part by virtual assets.
According to the paper, the reporting system requires real estate brokers, attorneys, and agents to conduct things like gathering and recording the parties’ identification documents.
Everyone interested in the aforementioned real estate deals must abide by the guidelines.
Discussions about the new resolution
The Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Justice, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), and other relevant UAE institutions met frequently and deliberated extensively before reaching this conclusion.
Abdulla bin Touq, the minister of economics, has said that the real estate business is essential to the country’s development and one of the best places to invest.
The United Arab Emirates is prepared to implement laws and regulations that promote safe and ethical financial practices in line with the strictest global norms.
Mr. bin Touq has stated that the new requirements are intended to “ensure the development of their regulatory frameworks, leaving little or no room for manipulation or illegal practices that could harm the work environment, the economy, and investment in these sectors.” These regulations apply to both the real estate and legal industries.
AML in UAE
The United Arab Emirates has stringent regulations that make it impossible to launder money or fund terrorist activities there. Over the years, the country has repeatedly enacted new laws to tackle financial crime.
The nation’s Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering sat up the Financing of Terrorism last year. Individuals suspected of engaging in money laundering, terrorism financing, or organized crime are dealt with by this group.
In November 2020, the Ministry of Economy set up a new anti-money laundering section to monitor the compliance of all businesses and professionals outside the financial sector.
The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates reports that it has issued fines to UAE-based exchange firms for failing to comply adequately with anti-money laundering requirements.
Beneficial Regulatory Objectives
The head of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Ali Ba’Alawi, has indicated that the new measures will “increase the quality of financial intelligence accessible to the FIU” and be used to “monitor the suspicious movement of funds or assets” in the battle against money laundering and terrorism funding.
While the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the UAE property market have lessened, new rules have been introduced. They keep an eye on government programs like the 10-year golden visa expansion, residency permits for retirees and remote workers, and the anticipated economic boost from Expo 2020 Dubai.
The total value of real estate deals in Dubai increased by more than 100%, setting a new 12-year high. The demand in the secondary real estate market allowed this to happen.