We are seeing more queries coming in from clients about data privacy compliance in the UAE now that the new data privacy laws are operational in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). 

The recent changes to the data privacy laws in these free zones materially increase the data protection compliance requirements incumbent on businesses operating there and introduce the potential for large fines for breach. 

The new data privacy laws are based around concepts similar to the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and take a similar approach to compliance. Whilst there are no specified requirements for employee share plans under the data privacy legislation, companies will need to ensure that they are operating their employee plans in a manner that is compliant with the new legislation and that appropriate data privacy procedures are in place that extend to awards made to employees in the DIFC and ADGM. DIFC and ADGM entities need to ensure that their counterparties are providing appropriate assurances in connection with the collection and processing of personal data and transfers of personal data from the DIFC and ADGM to “onshore” UAE must be made only in compliance with the laws.

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss data privacy in the UAE in respect of your share plans, or generally.