Online Licensing Services

In line with the Central Bank of the UAE’s continuous efforts to advance its services, supported by a robust digital transformation strategy, advanced regulations and prudent oversight, we have shifted our licensing processes for all financial and banking services entities to a digital format. Banks and financial institutions looking to register their operations with CBUAE can now undergo the necessary processes to claim a license through our online platform.

The requirements necessary to begin the registration processes for both licensed and non-licensed financial institutions are as follows:

  1. For existing licensed entities

    • The Licensing Automation Portal can be accessed through the following channels:
      • The CBSP (Central Bank Services Portal) for entities connected to CBUAE through the MPLS line
      • The online CBUAE Services Portal, which may be accessed through https://services.cbuae.gov.ae
    • You may also direct your questions on the licensing processes for existing licensed entities to CBUAE’s dedicated e-mail address at licensing@cbuae.gov.ae

  2. For new applicants / unlicensed financial institutions
  1. The licensing of financial and banking activities in the United Arab Emirates requires initial approval of said activities from CBUAE. The applicant must begin the licensing processes by submitting an application to CBUAE through the Licensing Division of the Banking Supervision Department.

  2. Procedures for submitting new license applications
    • New applicants are required to contact CBUAE at an early stage requesting to hold the pre-requisite meeting to discuss their plans by writing to licensing@cbuae.gov.ae and attaching the following documents:
      1. Proposed business model
      2. Proposed business plan
      3. a short summary of their proposed actions, activities as well as any issues or questions.
    • New applicants are required to hold at least one pre-requisite meeting with CBUAE before formally submitting the application
      • On successful completion of the review process, CBUAE will then provides the necessary access of the system to the applicant for submitting the detailed application which will then be taken forward as per the required steps

  3. Following the requirements of the first phase
    • CBUAE may provide new applicants with ‘in-principle’ approval if the application fulfills the necessary requirements
    • Before the application is deemed successful, applicants must complete the requirements outlined in CBUAE’s ‘in-principle’ approval letter within a one-year period of the letter's issuance

  4. Phase two requirements and additional information
    • An "in-principle" approval cannot be considered as final authorisation of the application
    • Financial institutions cannot practice activities that are subject to CBUAE’s supervision until having obtained license of the application
    • CBUAE is not required to issue the license if the application does not meet the necessary conditions, even after having issued an "in-principle" approval
     

    After having fulfilled the phase two requirements, CBUAE shall issue the appropriate license to the applicant, stating any conditions or requirements that the licensee must fulfill.

CBUAE’s licensing regime does not currently require the payment of any fees for new license applications.

However, CBUAE retains the right to impose any fees or expenses concerning the provision of its services and granting of any licenses and permits as it deems fit, in accordance with the nature and scope of the tasks, activities and controls determined by CBUAE’s board of directors.