The DFSA Invites Applications For Its 2020 Regulatory Sandbox ’Winter Cohort’ #Dubai - Dubai City Guide
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The DFSA Invites Applications For Its 2020 Regulatory Sandbox ’Winter Cohort’
(9 October 2019)


The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) invites applications from local and international firms to apply to join the Winter 2020 Cohort. Successful cohort applicants will be invited to apply to enter the DFSA Regulatory Sandbox, known as the Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) Programme.

The DFSA welcomes innovative technology-driven firms to apply through its website ( between 1 and 30 November 2019. Firms must provide a clear explanation of their planned business model and the proposed innovative product or service. Firms accepted into the Winter Cohort will be announced on 16 December, after which they are required to submit an ITL application by 17 January 2020.

Since the inception of the ITL Programme in 2017, the DFSA has accepted 20 companies into the cohort process, representing diverse business models from across the world. Such diverse business models have included digital Sukuk issuances using smart contracts, tokenised securities and debt offerings, tokenised crowdfunding, and the use of AI in credit analysis. The programme enables firms to test innovative solutions in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). It provides firms with temporary flexibility to test and develop concepts within the test environment without being subject to the full suite of regulatory requirements that normally apply to regulated firms.

Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: “The ITL Programme continues to provide the right balance between supporting financial innovation and maintaining the safety of the financial system and of the users of financial services. The ITL serves as a platform to safely test innovative financial technologies that have the potential to emerge as successful ventures and contribute to the financial services sector in Dubai and the UAE. The continued growth in the popularity of the programme is a testament to its success.”

Further details regarding the ITL and cohort applications are provided in the FinTech section of the DFSA’s website. Firms are encouraged to apply as soon as possible in November.

For more information about the cohort application process or the ITL programme, kindly email:

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