ADGM aims at increasing the protection of personal data - GulfToday

ADGM aims at increasing the protection of personal data


Abu Dhabi Global Market has enacted the Data Protection Regulations 2021.

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the award-winning International Financial Centre located in Abu Dhabi, announced on Sunday that it has enacted the Data Protection Regulations 2021, which will replace the current Data Protection Regulations 2015.

This initiative follows a period of public consultation, where the proposed Regulations received positive public feedback.

ADGM conducted an international benchmark of international standards and best practices and believes the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (which took effect in May 2018) is the leading international standard and best practice for robust Data Protection legislation.

The new Regulations are adapted to the needs of Abu Dhabi Global Market and are intended to be proportionate and business friendly, without undermining the key ambition of achieving a high standard of protection for personal data.

An important feature of the new framework is the establishment of an independent Office of Data Protection, headed by a Commissioner of Data Protection. The Board of the ADGM has appointed Sami Mohammed as the ADGM Commissioner of Data Protection.

Mohammed has over 18 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors in the UAE including in financial services, commercial legislation, data privacy and protection, anti-money laundering and counter terrorism funding, across various roles including licensing, supervision, enforcement and policy. Mohammed has been appointed for an initial term of four years.

ADGM recognises that adoption of the new Regulations will result in significant changes and additional responsibilities for Data Controllers and Data Processors. Accordingly, a transition period is proposed of 12 months for current establishments, and 6 months for new establishments, from 14 February 2021.

Dhaher Bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of the ADGM Registration Authority, said: “ADGM is extremely pleased to introduce such a world-class data protection framework that protects personal data, while also remaining balanced and business-friendly. These new Regulations position the Abu Dhabi Global Market as a regional leader in data protection.”

Sami Mohammed, ADGM Commissioner of Data Protection, said: “I am delighted to take up this important role as the ADGM Commissioner of Data Protection, as we enact the new Data Protection Regulations 2021. Through applying the new regulations, entities can be assured of the highest standards of data protection, in line with international best practice. On behalf of the team at the Office of Data Protection, I look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure personal data is processed in accordance with the Regulations.”

For more information on the Regulations, please visit the dedicated webpage for the Office of Data Protection and the new Data Protection Regulations 2021, and the appointment of Sami Mohamed as Commissioner of Data Protection.

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre (IFC) located in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, opened for business on 21 October 2015.

Established by a UAE Federal Decree as a broad-based financial centre, ADGM augments Abu Dhabi’s position as a global trade and business hub serving as a strategic link between the growing economies of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and the rest of the world.

Abu Dhabi Global Market’s strategy is anchored by Abu Dhabi’s key strengths panning over private banking, wealth management, asset management, derivatives and commodities trading, financial innovation, sustainability and more.

Comprising three independent authorities: ADGM Courts, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority and the Registration Authority, Abu Dhabi Global Market as an IFC governs the entire 114 hectares (1.14sqkm) of Al Maryah Island which is a designated financial free zone.

It enables registered financial and non-financial institutions, companies and entities to operate, innovate and succeed within an international regulatory framework based on common law.

Since its inception, Abu Dhabi Global Market has been awarded the “Financial Centre of the Year (Mena)” for four consecutive years for its initiatives and contributions to the financial and capital markets industry in the region.

In December 2020, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (the ADGM) enacted Amendment No.1 of 2020 to the ADGM Arbitration Regulations 2015 (the Arbitration Regulations).

The amendments to the Arbitration Regulations reflect the continuous effort by the ADGM to establish itself as a progressive seat of arbitration, codify international best practice and accommodate the changing needs of the various stakeholders to arbitration.


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