DIFC partners with PwC to offer online solution for data privacy - GulfToday

DIFC partners with PwC to offer online solution for data privacy


Data privacy has been gaining momentum and importance around the world.

Business Bureau, Gulf Today

With support from the Office of the Commissioner of Data Protection at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), PwC Middle East has launched an innovative online solution to help organisations comply with the recently announced DIFC Data Protection Law. The DIFC data privacy assessment provides organisations with bespoke reports outlining their current status against the key requirements of the Law, and detailed recommendations on the steps they should take to improve.

Around the world, data privacy has been gaining momentum and importance over recent years, with governments at a global and Middle East level introducing new data privacy laws to protect the individual. The DIFC Data Protection law was introduced to further build upon the Centre’s reputation as a leading global financial centre, whilst promoting ethical data sharing. It is applicable to DIFC-registered controllers and processors of personal data.

The comprehensive self-assessment has been developed in line with PwC’s internationally established data protection framework, and tailored to the specifics of the DIFC Data Protection Law. The Law has been in effect from October 1, with organisations subject to fines for non-compliance. The introduction of PwC’s online self-assessment offers DIFC-based organisations an effective solution to inform their response to the law’s requirements.

Jacques Visser, Commissioner of Data Protection at DIFC Authority, commented: “DIFC is committed to continually reviewing its laws and regulations to ensure they align to global best practice and are the most comprehensive in the region. We welcome the introduction of the PwC’s Data Protection Compliance Maturity self-assessment tool, as we are confident it will help Controllers and Processors in the DIFC and beyond meet the new requirements and elevate their reputation within the industry”.

Powered by PwC’s Digital Trust Manager: Assess platform, the online self-assessment uses business intelligence and data visualisation to help organisations take control of their data privacy risks.

Phil Mennie, Partner, Digital Trust, PwC Middle East said: “At PwC, we continually evolve our technical offerings and the way in which we can support our clients. We are proud to collaborate with DIFC to offer clients a seamless online solution to help them comply with the new Law. Data privacy is an increasingly important area and we are dedicated to help improve the handling of personal data across the Middle East”.

Meanwhile, Dubai International Financial Centre has welcomed Africa Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) Group. The business will operate as Africa Re Underwriting Agency Limited (Africa Re) and the DIFC presence is their first office outside Africa. Over the last 44 years, Africa Re has focused on developing the insurance and reinsurance industry to support African economic development. The business is now expanding, open to select markets in Asia, Brazil and the Middle East.

Africa Re’s areas of expertise include underwriting proportional and non-proportional (marine and non-marine) treaty business, offshore and onshore energy including oil, gas, petrochemicals, power and other utilities, as well as general property.

Africa Re will provide Conventional and Takaful reinsurance capacity to the whole Middle East region from DIFC. The firm has over a decade of providing Retakaful products which are Sharia-compliant and essential for Takaful companies to meet their business requirements.

Takaful sustained growth globally has been supported by growing demand for ethical financial services from Muslims and non-Muslims across the GCC, Southeast Asia and Africa. The GCC Takaful market saw its aggregate net profit surge by 74.3 per cent year-on-year to $414 million in 2019, according to the full-year 2019 results announced by the 47 publicly listed Takaful operators across the region. The UAE represented the second largest market after Saudi Arabia.

DIFC is recognised as the leading reinsurance hub in the MEASA region and now home to more than 100 registered insurance, reinsurance, captive firms and insurance-related entities, including four of the top five global insurance companies.

In 2019, the DIFC reported record gross written premiums, up 17.4 per cent year-on-year. Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority said: “We are pleased to welcome Africa Re to DIFC, especially as they have chosen us for their first office outside the African continent. Offering conventional and Takaful products provides additional choice and we hope Africa Re will work with DIFC and the other firms in our ecosystem to develop the future of the region’s reinsurance sector”.

Related articles