DIFC Academy Joins Hands with International Compliance Association to Develop Local Human Capital in the UAE

5 May 2020


Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Academy has entered into an agreement with the International Compliance Association (ICA), the leading professional body for the global regulatory and financial crime compliance community, to develop local human capital in the region by offering ICA education to UAE nationals and residents.

The agreement is designed to equip local talent with the latest knowledge and skills they need to excel in their role and safeguard Dubai's position as a global financial hub and a center of excellence and innovation in the financial services industry. The partnership is in line with and supports UAE Vision 2021 to build a competitive knowledge-based economy by developing local capabilities and investing in education.

Building on ICA’s presence in the United Arab Emirates for the last 12 years, the partnership extends ICA’s programmes to the financial services workforce in the region and will include localised content in many courses as well as the international best practice for which the qualifications are renowned.

The launch comes at a time of economic reforms and an accelerated regulatory change in the UAE, as the country ranked in the top four in MENA region for its focus on compliance and significant investment in 2019, according to a recent survey[1]. The survey further states that 83 percent of organisations in MENA, including in the UAE, plan to dedicate more resources to compliance over the next two years.

Helen Langton, ICA CEO for the region, commented: “During this challenging time as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, organisations are having to manage new and increased forms of risks in order to safeguard their reputation and fight financial crime more effectively. Building highly skilled human capital through investing in world-class education is central to ensuring your firm is protected against risk. I am especially pleased to partner with DIFC Academy and combine ICA’s international expertise with their local knowledge in order to help raise the standards in regulatory and financial crime compliance in the UAE.”

Alya Al Zarouni, Executive Vice President of Operations and Head of DIFC Academy, DIFC Authority, said: “By fostering the next generation of future talent to enter the workplace, it reflects our steadfast commitment to delivering essential knowledge and qualifications that will support and drive the future of finance.

“At this time, it is more important than ever to prioritise industry collaboration and provide the financial services professionals with a range of programmes to enhance and expand their knowledge that will drive further development in the financial sector. We look forward to working in close cooperation with International Compliance Association and building on our existing robust ecosystem to effectively contribute to a competitive knowledge-based economy and increase sector diversification in the UAE.”

[1] Source: Refinitiv, ‘Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Financial Crime Survey 2020’. Last Accessed 27/04/2020