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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

DIFC authority alerts public to scam by ‘local’ fund

Arabian Gulf Fund is not registered in Dubai’s financial free zone, says DSFA 

Slowing foreign direct investment activity has prompted the UAE to offer incentives for businesses to grow. Alex Atack / The National
Slowing foreign direct investment activity has prompted the UAE to offer incentives for businesses to grow. Alex Atack / The National

The regulator of the Dubai International Financial Centre has issued a warning over a company called Arabian Gulf Fund that has falsely claimed to have an office in the financial free zone.

“The Arabian Gulf Fund falsely claims on its website that it has an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre,” the Dubai Financial Services Authority said in a statement on its website.

“Arabian Gulf Fund is not, and has never been: authorised or regulated by the DFSA; incorporated in the DIFC; or licensed by or registered by the DIFC Registrar of Companies.”

Arabian Gulf Fund could not be reached by The National for a response. The email address listed on its website issued a bounce-back to email requests, while telephone calls went unanswered.

The contact details section of the company’s website carries an address at the DIFC.

“The authority became aware of this information and when looking into it found out that this is a scam, hence it alerted the community,” a spokeswoman for the DFSA told The National.

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The DFSA is not obliged to take further action because the Arabian Gulf Fund is not registered within the DIFC and therefore responsibility for the company lies outside the authority’s remit.

The alert, which is directed to the financial services community and members of the public, according to the DFSA statement, is followed by a list of steps that firms and individuals can take “to avoid being scammed”.

“Check the relevant regulatory status of a person before doing business with them; only do business with firms or individuals you trust – dealing with people you have never met may carry a higher risk; be particularly cautious when receiving unsolicited communications, and obtain independent professional advice before entering into any investment or transaction,” the statement said.

All alerts issued by the DFSA are listed on its website, which also includes a registrar of all DFSA-licensed businesses.

The number of firms incorporated at DIFC stood at 1,750 as of July 2017, a 6.2 per cent rise from the same period the previous year. Of those registered companies, the number of regulated financial institutions stood at 463.