The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE
The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE Nick Fewings/Unsplash

The UAE's Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (EO AML/CTF) recently hosted a workshop in Abu Dhabi aimed at educating participants from 21 countries in the MENAFATF region on the latest FATF standards. The workshop was conducted by the FATF Training Institute.

The FATF Standards Training Course was held over a full week in Abu Dhabi and there were 28 participants from among the MENAFATF's 21 countries, representing the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, and Morocco.

Hamid Al Zaabi, Director-General of the EO AML/CTF, highlighted the critical role of training in helping the implementation of FATF standards.

"Financial crime is global in nature today, which means that to be successful in combatting it requires not only international cooperation but a deep understanding of standards that prevent criminals from finding opportunities in the gaps between national AML/CFT systems," Al Zaabi was quoted as saying by WAM.

"The most important global set of standards are the FATF 40 Recommendations for technical compliance and 11 Immediate Outcomes (IOs) for effectiveness ratings and professionals working for national AML/CFT organizations must have a high level of familiarisation with them," he added.

The director general said that in the UAE, there has been significant progress in boosting the number of Emiratis who are certified assessors by the FATF. He pointed out that in the last three years, the number has increased five times more.

"The development of our human capital is among the Executive Office of AML/CTF priorities. I would like to thank our partners in the FATF Training Institute and MENAFATF Secretariat," he added.

Suliman Al Jabrin, Executive Secretary of MENAFATF, emphasized the importance of the regional body's mission, noting that the FATF Standards Training Course is a key date in the MENAFATF calendar.

He explained that this course brings expert trainers together with "professionals from our member states with the shared goal of increasing compliance with the FATF standards."

Al Jabrin appreciated the MENA region's significant progress in detecting and preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism. He also thanked the FATF Training Institute team for their efforts during the event.