Yellow Bus on Road Near City Buildings. Representational Image.
Yellow Bus on Road Near City Buildings. Representational Image. Max Avans/

The UAE's ranking has improved in the Basel Anti-Money Laundering Risk Index by 16 positions from 2021 to 2023, giving a boost to the country's financial services sector.

This improvement in rating - with efforts led by the Higher Committee Overseeing the National Strategy for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorism Financing and the Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Counterterrorism Financing (EO AML/CTF) - highlights the Middle Eastern country's progress in cracking down on money laundering and terror financing.

Acknowledging the rating jump, Hamid AlZaabi, Director General of the EO AML/CTF, said, "These results are a global recognition of the UAE's record efforts combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism," WAM reported Monday.

"Our national strategy and approach is robust and comprehensive, reaching all corners of our AML/CFT system and every level from law enforcement agencies, supervisory authorities and company registries, and the private sector, in order to optimize achieving our goals effectively," he added.

AlZaabi noted that "the effectiveness, permanence, and sustainability of the EO AML/CTF have been on full display for all our partners, both domestic and international." He also emphasized the launch of more key initiatives over the coming months that underscore the country's commitment to strengthening its anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing framework.

With the help of improved ratings, the UAE is all set to attract more investments, which would make international transactions easier, and strengthen its position as a key player in the global financial community.

Furthermore, these improved ratings have had a positive impact on the business at the UAE's largest Financial Free Zones (FFZ).

Emmanuel Givanakis, CEO - Financial Services Regulatory Authority, of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), said that the authority's decision demonstrates the remarkable progress the country has made in improving its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) measures.

"Mitigating the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing have always been a strategic focus of ADGM's regulations and our regulatory approach," he said, adding that the authority continues to take "all necessary measures to ensure that all entities operating in ADGM remain vigilant in fulfilling their statutory obligations."