Dubai on the way to update its data protection law

A new GDPR-influenced law may be in effect by July, but as the current law, will be applicable only to the Dubai International Financial Centre. By Tripti Dhar of Reina Legal LLP.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has moved beyond its conventional role and has emerged as a FinTech Hub. 2019 witnessed a four-fold growth in the number of innovation-focused technological companies taking the number to 138 companies as of now under its initiative called the FinTech Hive. On 4 March 2020, the Office of the Commissioner of Data Protection, DIFC conducted its first legal outreach session on the new DIFC Data Protection Law (DP Law)(1). The session saw a room full of lawyers, in-house counsels, and privacy professionals amongst others. The session was opened by Jacques Visser, Commissioner of Data Protection, DIFC followed by a presentation by Lori Baker, Director of Data Protection, DIFC. The DIFC intends to replace and expand the existing Data Protection Law No. 1 of 2007 (PL&B International February 2007 p.1 and July 2007 pp.22-23) and hence, the new DP Law has been drafted.

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