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Building Trust and Amplifying Data Protection Highlighted at International Data Privacy Day

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial centre located in the UAE’s capital city, hosted an event on the occasion of International Data Privacy Day which marks the 28th of January each year across the globe. The event gathered members of the UAE-GCC privacy network, counsellors from the US Embassy in the UAE, UAE government officials and many other leading names from the GCC region.

This year’s agenda of the event focuses on the international best practices that build trust for international businesses. More importantly, it focused on the role that international financial centres play in amplifying data protection, privacy guidelines and regulations.

Panel discussions at the event explored topics such as ‘How Financial Free Zone Privacy Rules Build Trust for International Business’ and ‘How companies can prepare better for the new UAE Personal Data Protection Law’ and witnessed the participation of local and regional industry experts.

Following 2021’s success

In 2021, ADGM established the Office of Data Protection (ODP) as an independent supervisory authority responsible for administering data protection regulations in this international financial centre. Furthermore, ADGM’s ODP is responsible for promoting data protection within ADGM, and maintaining the register of data controllers. It also enforces the obligations upon data controllers and upholding the rights of data subjects.

ADGM’s Data Protection Regulations 2021 has been benchmarked with international standards. This includes Convention 108 to ensure the safeguarding of sensitive and personal data collected by entities based within ADGM. The event was marked in line with national and international data protection bodies and other sectors observing International Data Privacy Day. This was as an opportunity to raise awareness about the rights to personal data protection and privacy.

Hamad Sayah Al Mazrouei, CEO of ADGM Registration Authority, said:

“ADGM acknowledges the fundamental right of data privacy and protection. It emphasises it not just through words but through mandates and policies for the local and global community-based in the international financial centre.

“As an authority, we take our responsibility seriously and are continuously addressing the emerging challenges from the rapid acceleration of the digital ecosystem that we are all part of. ADGM’s Registration Authority is the sponsor of ADGM’s overall data protection frameworks that is a part of ADGM’s legal frameworks since its establishment, a reflection of the importance we have placed on data protection and privacy since the beginning.”

International Data Protection Day, also referred to as ‘Data Privacy Day’, marks the 42nd anniversary of the Council of Europe’s Convention 108, the only international treaty on data protection. ADGM has been actively participating as the only observer from the GCC at the Council of Europe’s convention 108.


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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