CBUAE Issues Sandbox Regulation to Attract Startups and Foster Innovation

The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has introduced the Sandbox Conditions Regulation, designed to attract start-ups and global fintech businesses.

This regulation aims to create an attractive environment that supports creativity and innovation within a regulatory and supervisory framework, enhancing the competitiveness of the financial sector and supporting the UAE’s economic growth.

The Sandbox Conditions Regulation outlines specific requirements for participants, including startups, fintech companies, and established businesses seeking to deliver innovative solutions within the financial services sector. It also details criteria for exempting these entities from obtaining a license, allowing them to test new business models, products, and services for a set period, provided they comply with regulatory obligations to ensure positive outcomes for all stakeholders.

These conditions enable the CBUAE to proactively assess and respond to innovations as part of its supervisory activities. They also help participants understand how to structure their businesses in a regulatory-compliant manner.

Applicants must present a technologically innovative financial product, service, solution, or business model that could benefit consumers and the broader industry. Additionally, participants need to demonstrate their intention to deploy the proposed service on a wider scale in the UAE after exiting the Regulatory Sandbox.

H.E. Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the CBUAE, stated, “The issuance of the Sandbox Conditions Regulation is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to enabling innovation and building a knowledge-based national economy. By providing a structured platform for experimentation, we are encouraging innovators to contribute positively to the wider economy and participate actively while ensuring consumer protection and achieving the interests of all stakeholders.”

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