Emirates Credit Information Company (Emcredit) has been appointed as the official credit bureau in Dubai and the first in the UAE, in a move that is expected to improve the standard of credit information services in the emirate.

Emcredit will be the entity responsible for credit-reporting services in Dubai, through collecting, storing, analysing and disseminating credit information, according to a decree issued on 3 May by Dubai’s Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

The bureau will bring greater confidence to all stakeholders of the credit reporting industry, enhance the privacy of data on individuals and companies, and support credit decision-making, said a statement issued by the government.

“The UAE, like other GCC countries, lacks proper credit information,” said Nasser Saidi, chief economist at Dubai International Financial Centre. “A lack of reliable information on creditworthiness of individuals or businesses leads to increased credit cost. This will certainly improve the credit market by ensuring more availability.”

The decree makes it compulsory for all financial institutions across the emirate to join Emcredit’s database and supply the bureau with all the required credit information records required by it to render its services.

It also lays out the legal and operational framework for Emcredit, which was established by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) in 2006. In processing credit information, Emcredit is expected to comply with the criteria and instructions stipulated by the DED, as well as those issued by the UAE Central Bank.

The bureau is further mandated not to use, disclose or divulge credit information in its possession to others, except in accordance with the provisions of the decree.