The UAE insurance market is being held back by the lack of regulations.

“The challenge is to adopt international standards of regulation. The UAE is moving in the right direction. Once the independent insurance authority is created, more regulations will come in,” says Fareed Lutfi, secretary general of the Emirates Insurance Association.

The UAE Insurance Authority has been set up as an independent regulatory body for the market. Over the past few months, it has drafted 60 new laws that are waiting to be implemented.  

“In terms of regulations in the GCC, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are ahead. It has taken Saudi Arabia some time, but they have the right regulations on the table, particularly in terms of solvency of the companies,” says Lutfi.

Speaking at the Insurex conference in Dubai, chairman of the Emirates Insurance Association Saleh Bin Rashid al-Dhahiry said: “Insurance companies in the region still have a long way to go … the local market has yet to focus on risk management. They need to properly identify risks they are subject to and identify transparent ways to manage these risks.”

Al-Dhahiry also highlighted the lack of public awareness and low levels of penetration in the sector.