Dubai International Financial Centre has formally engaged with the UK's Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Department to establish equivalence with its data protection law.

The collaboration between the two organisations comes as part of the UK's overall approach to international data transfers, including establishment of an International Data Transfers Experts Council, in addition to the assessments of DIFC and five other top priority jurisdictions, it said in a statement on 27 August. 

This process is to determine whether Data Protection Law, DIFC Law No. 5 of 2020 (DP Law 2020) is substantially equivalent to the UK General Data Protection Regulation and UK Data Protection Act of 2018 (UK DPA).

Adequacy recognition of DIFC's Data Protection Law would mean that it is fair and effective enough to protect UK-originating data being processed by entities in the Centre, the DIFC said.

It added that recognition would reinforce data flows between the jurisdictions, help build better trade relationships and promote high standards of accountability and transparency in businesses that deal with DIFC entities.

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said: "At DIFC we are committed to implementing best-in-class regulations and standards across all of our business functions, to ensure the provision of integrated financial services commensurate with the needs of our partners.

Data protection and the preservation of privacy are key factors that impact the work done by companies working in the DIFC, therefore we are pleased to cooperate with the UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Department with the aim of securing adequacy recognition by the UK and reinforcing DIFC's alignment with international standards.

This step would further highlight how DIFC's practical and effective legal infrastructure serves as a model for data protection in the region and contribute to the consolidation of DIFC's position as one of the leading financial centres in the world."