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Compliance Corner: UAE Cracks Down On Cold Calling

Editorial Staff

20 May 2024

UAE, GSB Wealth
The United Arab Emirates’ government has unveiled rules to tighten “cold calling” marketing to protect consumer privacy and avoid this practice becoming a nuisance.

The jurisdiction is setting guidelines for telemarketing, compliance obligations for companies, and penalties for those who break the rules. 

“GSB would welcome infinitely stricter legislation around cold calling in the UAE. Ideally, the UAE would consider a complete ban on financial services cold calling, similar to that of the UK’s HM Treasury Consultation published in August 2023,” Yazmin Boden, partner of , a firm operating in the jurisdiction, said in a statement late last week.

“From our perspective, GSB has never and will never tolerate the practice of cold calling. Where an individual is looking to obtain financial advice, the selection process should be made through careful personal research and referrals from experienced individuals. The necessary research can be very easy.

“People should not be making financial decisions off the back of a ‘charming’ cold call, which promises exceptional returns and immediate convenience. A bad financial decision, once made, is incredibly hard to undo. However, it is easily preventable with the necessary due diligence,” Boden said. 

Boden said expats living in the UAE – an important client demographic – should only choose advisors based in the DIFC.

“UAE residents should also only work with those recognised by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (CISI), or the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA),” Boden said.

“It is important that investors check the direct website of regulatory bodies and do not rely on statements made on LinkedIn and company websites. If an opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Boden added.

This news service interviewed GSB here about its strategy.