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DIFC enacts New Data Protection Law

June 2020

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has enacted Data Protection Law DIFC Law No. 5 of 2020 (DPL) to regulate the processing of personal data in the DIFC.
The DPL comes into force on 1 July 2020. However, businesses will have a grace period of 3 months, until 1 October 2020, to bring their organisations into compliance with the new law.
DIFC's updated Data Protection Law and Regulations set out expectations for Controllers and Processors in the Centre regarding several key privacy and security principles. The Data Protection Law combines the best practices from a variety of current, world class data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act and other forward-thinking, technology agnostic concepts.
The changes legislate for accountability of Controllers and Processors through compliance programmes requirements, appointing data protection officers where necessary, conducting data protection impact assessments and imposing contractual obligations that protect individuals and their personal data. Enhanced rights of individuals are clarified in terms of data usage by entities that collect and manage personal data, including contractual clarity of such rights when engaging with vendors of emerging technologies, such as Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Permit options for cross-border data transfers and special category personal data processing have been removed. The Data Protection Law and Regulations include appropriate data sharing structures between government authorities, which represent a key step forward in data sharing standards within the UAE and the region.


Ihab is an Italian attorney-at-law and expert in the aviation sector. He has been engaged in commercial and regulatory law practice for many years, with a focus on aviation.

He has an extensive experience in high-profile litigation, aircraft financing and leasing, aviation regulation, aircraft accident investigations and policy & business aviation issues.

During his career, he has been actively involved in a full range of legal matters arising in the aviation industry, including drafting aviation legislations, participating in major Privatization and Public–Private Partnership projects, delivering regulatory consultations & proceedings, handling general aviation and commercial issues including sale, purchase and lease of aircraft transactions, aircraft & air navigation services’ insurance and reinsurance, and other environment, security & safety issues.

Ihab has addressed numerous conferences on aviation law and aircraft financing & leasing in the Middle East, Europe and Canada, and published on a variety of issues, including commercial aviation developments, environmental regulation impacting the aviation sector and the Cape Town Convention and its Aircraft Protocol.

He is a member of ICAO’s Commission of Experts of the Supervisory Authority of the International Registry (CESAIR) for the purposes of the Cape Town Convention (CTC) and the Aircraft Protocol.