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Obtaining DIFC Category 5 License | DFSA Category 5 Financial Licensing

Obtaining DIFC Category 5 License | DFSA Category 5 Financial Licensing

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTER [DIFC] is a broadly based recognized and renowned international financial center serving local, regional, and international institutions, and serves in the obtainment of Financial License Categories 5, 1, 2, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D & 4.


An Islamic Financial Institution carries out its entire business in accordance with the principles of Sharia and manages a profit-sharing investment account (received on an unrestricted basis).

  • Base Capital – US$ 10,000,000
  • Risk-based Capital minimum based on the totality of risks – CET1, 6%; Tier 1, 8%.
  • Capital Requirement is not applicable to a Branch set-up of the existing regulated bank.
  • Capital Plan must be captured in Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process Report.

Note that additional capital requirements may be imposed by DFSA on the review of the application. 


  • Directors (at least 2, preferably 3-4) – can be outsourced (NEDs).
  • Senior Executive Officer (SEO) – In-house, UAE resident (can be a Director).
  • Risk Officer (RO) – can be outsourced.
  • Finance Officer (FO) – can be outsourced (can also be an Executive Director/Senior Manager).
  • Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) – can be outsourced, UAE resident (can be a CO).
  • Compliance Officer (CO) – can be outsourced, UAE resident (can be an MLRO).


  • Introduction to the Regulator
  • Draft of Regulatory Business Plan (RBP) (Application Forms, Business flow processes & charts)
  • Preparation of Financial model for 3 years and draft of ICAAP and IRAP report.
  • Preparation of policies and manuals (Compliance, AML, Risk Management, Remuneration, Governance, Conflicts of Interests, Business Continuity Plan etc.)
  • AUT – CORE this form must be submitted by all applicants applying for a license to carry out one or more financial services in or from DIFC. It covers information on the applicant, its activities, prospective clients and controllers;
  • AUT – IND this form must be submitted by the individuals holding a mandatory function including directors, senior executive officer, finance officer, compliance officer and money laundering reporting officer; and
  • AUT-AMS this form must be submitted by applicants applying to conduct financial services relating to arranging credit or deals in investment. The applicant will be required to submit this form as one of the Proposed Activities of DIFC CO includes arranging credits and deals in investment.
  • Draft of regulatory application for the company and individuals
  • Submission of Regulatory Application (with Policies and appointment of SEO, FO, MLRO, RO, CO)
  • Provision of full-time functions:

(*) SEO – Senior Executive Officer

(*) FO – Finance Officer

(*) RO – Risk Officer

(*) MLRO – Money Laundering Reporting Officer

(*) CO – Compliance Officer Initiation of the entity incorporation process

  • Office lease
  • Introduction to the UAE Bank for opening an Account
  • Issuance of Regulator’s financial services license

Wincore Advisory Group helps businesses to articulate their objectives and aspirations to set up DIFC Category 5 Financial Licence. Contact us at  OR +971 4 443 6694.

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Mohammad Rahali

Managing Partner


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Obtaining DIFC Category 5 License | DFSA Category 5 Financial Licensing

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