Personal Data Protection Law
The UAE does not wait for the future. It shapes its own future.
The UAE believes in the balance between protecting data privacy and fostering innovation in the economy
H.E. Omar Sultan Al Olama
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What is Personal Data?
Personal Data: Any data relating to an identified natural person, or a natural person who can be identified, directly or indirectly, through the linking of data, by reference to an identifier such as his name, voice, image, identification number, online identifier, geographical location, or one or more physical, physiological, economic, cultural or social characteristics.
The Golden Approach
major technology companies consulted
Drafted in partnership with the private sector
“The development of the UAE Data Protection Law is an important milestone on the country’s rapid and successful digitization journey. At Microsoft, we believe privacy is a fundamental right, and we are delighted to see the continuous improvements being made with regard to this important topic and the collaborative process the government has developed to consult with private sector companies on these issues.”
“We welcome the opportunity to work with governments and regulators on evolving privacy standards across the world and support the UAE’s efforts in fostering an innovative regulatory environment for future technologies“
“A critical milestone enabling the digital economy and a catalyst for attracting talent and driving innovation”
”We at Johnson & Johnson greatly appreciate the unique opportunity offered by the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence to participate in the private sector consultation on the UAE Personal Data Protection Law. We echo the criticality of this topic and applaud the efforts and steps taken by the UAE government with the introduction of a comprehensive data protection framework to drive the powerful vision and national innovation agenda while protecting the citizens’ and residents’ right to privacy.”
“At Mecomed we warmly welcome the collaborative approach of the UAE government to create an international standard legislation to regulate the Data Privacy in the UAE. We highly appreciate AI Office’s initiative to address the Medical Technology industry’s concerns to preserve the high pace of innovation in the country, while assuring the highest level of the data security.”
“The UAE has been working tirelessly to create a modern and comprehensive framework related to data privacy. In an effort to work collaboratively with international companies that have established regional presence in the UAE, the UAE Office of Artificial Intelligence took an encouraging decision to integrate feedback from across multiple organizations and entities into this effort. GE was pleased to be part of this process, and to contribute to such an important milestone for the country. This unique and constructive approach brought industry and government together in a positive way on a topic that is a key lever for growth and development. We look forward to continuing our work with the Ministry of AI and all partners in this regard.”
“The UAE has shown exemplary leadership in accelerating digital transformation during the global health pandemic. Momentum has been built leveraging on an effective public-private partnership framework bringing all the stakeholders in the digital eco-system together, including Huawei, towards a common vision. With aligned goals, we are glad to be able to contribute in the development of this new data protection regime, which will further strengthened UAE’s position as a globally trusted digital oasis.”
“Majid Al Futtaim firmly believes in the power of private and public sector collaborations. We are honoured to have been invited by the Ministry of Artificial Intelligence to collaborate on the development of these two significant decrees. The resulting robust legal framework, that is in-line with global benchmarks, is an important step forward in establishing the United Arab Emirates as a global hub for data and technology, supported by a progressive and balanced data legislation that encourages innovation and enables the data economy while protecting the data privacy rights of global citizens.“
“Checkout.com welcomes the enactment of the new Personal Data Protection Law. Over the last decade, our digital payments platform has enabled many businesses to thrive in the UAE’s digital economy. While data is the lifeblood of the online marketplace, consumer trust is its oxygen – both are vital to its success. As one of the leading payment service providers in the UAE, we are proud to have consulted the Data Office and Ministry of Cabinet Affairs in the formation of this. We believe it provides a strong foundation for the continued growth of the UAE’s growing eCommerce and tech markets for decades to come.”
“As the trusted technology partner to the UAE government, Mastercard is proud to play a role in the development of the new data legislation laws. We appreciate the government’s commitment to adopt a consultive approach and integrate global best practices throughout the process. In the journey towards digital transformation, cybersecurity and privacy measures have become more important than ever before in protecting the interests of the governments, businesses and individual data subjects alike. The UAE has always taken a lead in ensuring that its economy and infrastructure are future-proof and the new policy reflects this evolution and builds on this exemplary journey.”
“In adopting an open dialogue throughout the drafting of the new UAE Personal Data Protection Law, the UAE Government and, particularly the Ministry of Artificial Intelligence, has once again demonstrated the effectiveness of the consultative approach that has become the hallmark of its relationships with UAE-based companies. As the world’s leader in digital payments, Visa is proud to have actively participated in the consultations by providing our global expertise in data privacy, mobility and security to ensure the law enables business growth and innovation while protecting the privacy and integrity of personal data. We look forward to our continued partnership with the UAE Government and Ministry of AI in supporting the growth of inclusive and secure digital commerce in the UAE.”
“In line with global trends and Citi’s data privacy priorities, Citi welcomes the enactment of the UAE Personal Data Protection law. We are also pleased to have been able to take part in such a commendable public-private joint effort led by the Ministry of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and the AI Office. We believe that the data legislation will further safeguard and promote business efficiency and growth in the UAE in an increasingly digitized and interconnected era.”
“We thank His Excellency Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and the AI Office for the consultative approach in the development of the UAE’s Personal Data Protection Law. Public-private collaborations such as this ensure that a holistic industry viewpoint is taken into account, leading to positive long-term outcomes for the UAE.”
“We are delighted to have worked closely with the Artificial Intelligence Office prior to the introduction of this new legislation, and believe that continuous dialogue and engagement between the private and public sector is crucial to providing an environment that enables development, growth and continuous innovation across the technology sector in the UAE.”
“Honeywell commends the forward-looking approach of the UAE government and specifically the Ministry of AI in reaching out to global technology leaders to review and comment on the UAE Draft Data Privacy Regulations. Cloud computing, AI and machine learning are transforming the global economy and the way people interact and businesses operate, with data playing a central role in enabling this transformation. A strong partnership and collaboration between the public and private sectors is essential to realize the promise of digital transformation. Such informed collaboration enables the design and establishment of a regulatory framework that strikes the right balance in safeguarding the privacy and security of data, while enabling innovation and the realization of the opportunities of digital transformation. Honeywell looks forward to continuing its strong partnership and collaboration with the enterprising government of the UAE in its mission to strengthen the UAE’s position as a global hub for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
“The privacy law is a welcome new addition in the ever forward-looking technological landscape of the UAE. We, at Bayt.com, greatly appreciate the consultative and collaborative approach that was taken in enacting the law. We also appreciate the mandate of protecting the millions of digital citizens that live in the UAE. We thank the leadership of the UAE for their continued efforts to make this country a world-class environment to live in and operate a business out of.”
“At Uber, we are proud to be involved in the ongoing consultations with the UAE government with the objective to collectively create a progressive legal framework that will enable industries to further innovate, while protecting consumers’ data privacy.”
“Careem greatly appreciates the UAE government’s robust private sector consultations and continues to be supportive of a legal framework that safeguards people’s data privacy, while enabling businesses to innovate and serve the broader region from a base in the UAE.” – Bassel Alnahlaoui, Careem Managing Director of Mobility”
The Gold Standard
Federal Decree Law No. 45/2021 on the Protection of Personal Data
Scope: The law has extraterritorial geographical effect where it will apply to data controllers and data processors that are both located in the UAE or those located outside the UAE that process the personal data of UAE residents.
When will it come into effect?
The Personal Data Protection Law came into effect on 2nd January 2022. Data controllers and data processors shall adjust their statuses in conformity with the provisions of the law within a period of six months after the date of issuance of its Executive Regulation.
Single Data Authority
Right for Consent
Allows Cross Border Data Flow
Right of Access to Information
Right to Request Personal Data Portability
Right to Rectification or Erasure of Personal Data
Right to Restriction of Processing
Right of Processing and Automated Processing
Cross Border Data Transfer
- Transfer of personal data to a country with similar data protection legislation: permitted if the country upholds its own data protection legislation that does not contradict with the UAE personal data protection law, and is in bilateral or multilateral agreements on data protection legislation.
- Transfer of personal data to a country with different or no data protection legislation: permitted through signing agreements with foreign institutions and companies to comply with the UAE personal data protection law, and where either consent is provided or the transfer is contractually necessary
The law with the lowest cost of compliance.
Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications
UAE Data Office
The UAE Data Office will act as the federal data regulator in the UAE.