It took less than 6 months for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to ratify the Bilateral Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance (MLAT) with the United States (US), having initially been signed on 24 February 2022. Ratification by the UAE was effected through Federal Decree no. 58 of 2022, published in the Gazette (in August 2022). The timeframe is swift for such an important and complex diplomatic matter, and this is an indication of the recent trend towards greater cooperation between the UAE and the US and highlights the political will of both countries to ensure that the MLAT was sealed without delay.

Such a development should not be understated and marks a hugely important step for the UAE. As always, time will tell how successful the MLAT between the two countries will be, but we are buoyed by the UAE’s agility and commitment to fight financial crime, and it sends a strong signal to the international community that the country means business!