A new AML reporting circular for the Real Estate business

A new AML reporting circular for the Real Estate business

Real estate Payments by virtual assets or through the sale of virtual assets, as well as cash transactions above AED 55,000, will have to be reported to UAE Financial Intelligence Unit

In another significant step to wipe out money laundering and terrorist financing, payments for real estate transactions in the UAE through virtual assets, sale of virtual assets, or cash amounts above AED55,000 will now be subjected to additional reporting to authorities.

All real estate agents, brokers, and law firms are now obliged to file reports to the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) for purchase and sale transactions of freehold real estate properties, including any of the three payment methods.

The payment methods are:

  • Single or multiple cash payments equal to or above AED55,000
  • Payments with virtual assets
  • Payments where the fund(s) used in the transaction have been derived from a virtual asset

In partnership with FIU, the Ministry of Economy (MoE) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced the introduction of new reporting requirements.

The decision was made following multiple meetings and discussions involving the MoE, MoJ, FIU, and other authorities like the Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT).

The agents, brokers and law firms will also need to obtain and record the identification documents of the parties to the applicable transaction. The rules apply to both individuals and corporate entities.

The relevant private sector entities have been informed about the specific requirements in regulatory circulators issued by the MoE and MoJ. The authorities are also collaborating to host three separate workshops with these parties to help guide them through the new requirements and enhance their familiarisation with the FIU’s goAML system.

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