All companies in the UAE (both mainland and free zone companies (with the exception of companies incorporated in the financial free zones ADGM and DIFC) and companies owned by the Federal/Local Governments, must now keep at their office premises:
a. a shareholder register;
b. a register of beneficial owners; and
c. a register of nominee directors.
Companies must file such information relating to the shareholders and beneficial owners with the relevant registrar and licensing authorities responsible for supervising the register of trade names for the various types of establishments registered in the UAE (the Registrar) by 27 October 2020.
Companies must notify the Registrar of any change/amendment to the information provided within 15 days of such change/amendment.
Companies are required to designate an individual who the Registrar may contact in relation to any disclosure.
Each company must take reasonable steps to ensure transparency, to obtain accurate information regarding the beneficial ownership, and to update the information on the registers on an ongoing basis.
Companies which are listed in well regulated stock exchanges or companies which are owned by these listed companies may rely on the disclosures made to the relevant stock exchange rather than making independent inquiries as to the beneficial ownership.