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Dubai International Financial Centre’s updated data protection law - Part 1: Developing a modern, global law in a UAE financial free zone

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It is a little-known fact that in the Middle East, a data protection law very similar to the original EU Directive of 1995 and the UK Data Protection Act of 1998 exists. But the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is the purveyor of this law, which is in force since 2007 and undergoing an overhaul to be completed by December 2019. The updated law combines international data protection standards of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act with innovative, new concepts that work for the DIFC’s FinTech/X-tech incubator. Ultimately, the goal is to obtain adequacy recognition by the European Commission. This paper tells us how such a law was created and how a small jurisdiction in the United Arab Emirates is making big strides in data protection.
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Keywords: DIFC; Middle East; UAE; adequacy; data protection

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Vice President of Legal Affairs & Director of Data Protection 2: General Counsel and Assistant Professor

Publication date: January 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Data Protection & Privacy publishes in-depth, peer-reviewed articles, case studies and applied research on all aspects of data protection, information security and privacy issues across the European Union and other jurisdictions, in the wake of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the biggest change in data protection and privacy for two decades.
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