Emirates Law Business and Practice: Fighting bribery and corruption

Muneer Khan and Samir Safar-Aly of Simmons & Simmons consider the UAE’s Federal anti-bribery and corruption laws, the organisations that enforce them and insights into developments in the US and UK.

This article was first published by Emirates Law in August 2017, who have agreed to it being made available on Simmons & Simmons elexica.

According to the 2016 edition of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, the UAE is the least corrupt Arab nation and the 24th least corrupt nation in the world . Within the UAE , there are both Federal and Emirate specific laws which deal with bribery. The UAE ’s Federal State Audit Institution (SAI ) has the power to investigate any allegations of fraud or mismanagement of federal funds or assets. The SAI actively monitors, detects and enforces Federal anti-corruption laws. Any individual who wishes to report these activities can do so anonymously through the SAI . Similarly, the Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority (ADAA ) seeks to ensure that all public organisations in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi abide by transparency standards and use their funds ethically. The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA ) works to address corporate misconduct and financial crime in the private sector within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) through enforcement initiatives and publication of its enforcement notices. However, the key investigators in the UAE remain the Economic Crime Units of various Emirate-level police forces and relevant Public Prosecutors Offices across the UAE . It is expected the UAE Government will establish the Federal Authority for Combatting Corruption, which will ensure the terms of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC ) are enforced.

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