Nasdaq Dubai CSD for Private Companies

The CSD (Central Securities Depository) gives shareholders the comfort that their shares are held in a secure, electronic format with an international stock exchange.
Nasdaq Dubai’s CSD facility welcomes privately held companies that wish to make use of the exchange’s sophisticated infrastructure to safeguard their shares. This brings companies into an exchange environment without having to go public.

Making use of the CSD can raise the public profile of a private company. It can also be the start of the company’s journey towards a capital market transaction. Whether the plan is to go public through an IPO, or issue bonds or Sukuk, joining the CSD gives a company the opportunity to learn more about Nasdaq Dubai and the exchange ecosystem.

What are the benefits of joining the CSD?

Safe keeping

Nasdaq Dubai provides secure infrastructure that safeguards all the shares of a private company on behalf of their owners. A robust legal and regulatory framework underpins the CSD.

The shares of private companies are held in the CSD in exactly the same way as those of companies that are listed on Nasdaq Dubai.

Public Confidence

Joining the CSD can enhance trust by investors and the public in a private company. It provides credibility as the company pursues its business activities and supports best practice corporate governance. Nasdaq Dubai operates in the internationally recognized legal framework of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and its regulator is Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).


By joining the CSD a company can attract publicity through its association with one of the world’s leading exchange brands. An announcement can be made at a market-opening bell-ringing ceremony at Nasdaq Dubai MarketSite attended by company and its guests as well as TV and other media. Nasdaq Dubai can issue a joint press release that is sent internationally.


Nasdaq Dubai has close links with international CSDs including Clearstream and Euroclear. These facilitate cross border share transfers.

Preparation for capital raise

Once a company is a member of the CSD, it can prepare for an equity or debt capital markets transaction from a position of familiarity with Nasdaq Dubai. Its investors will also be familiar with the exchange.


The CSD offers companies a range of services in processing corporate actions (any dividends, bonuses, consolidation, etc.) regarding shares held in the CSD.


The CSD supports the easy and efficient transfer of a company’s shares between buyers and sellers, by facilitating share settlement of those transfers.

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Which private companies can join the CSD?

Any privately held company can apply to join the Nasdaq Dubai CSD, whether it is based in the UAE or overseas. The shareholders can be of any nationality.

How are shares transferred between investors in the CSD?

Investors can easily buy and sell shares held in the CSD through brokerages that are Members of Nasdaq Dubai, including most of the UAE’s leading brokerages. Such trading takes place off-exchange, with the transfer of ownership of the shares taking place in the CSD itself.

A list of Nasdaq Dubai Members can be found at at our members page. Investors can contact the company in which they hold shares for more information.

What is the process to join the CSD?

Our team will work with the company throughout the process to ensure a smooth transition into the CSD. The process can be fast and is highly streamlined, with applications being reviewed within days of submission.

Step One

Complete Nasdaq Dubai’s application forms and submit them to the exchange along with supporting documents, such as Certificate of Incorporation and Memorandum and Artricles of Association. Information requested will include the number and type of shares (e.g. ordinary).

Step Two

Ensure shareholders have a National Investor Number (NIN) with Nasdaq Dubai and a trading account with one of our Members. A NIN can be obtained through this form or by contacting a Nasdaq Dubai Member.

Step Three

Once the application is approved Nasdaq Dubai will coordinate with the company on the movement of shares to the CSD, and that is when it becomes a part of Nasdaq Dubai.

What are the obligations?

A private company with shares in the CSD must inform Nasdaq Dubai of certain changes to its status, such as its Articles. However it is not subject to the requirements of a listed company, such as publishing company accounts or making regulatory disclosures.

What next?

To see how Nasdaq Dubai can help your company through the CSD process please contact the team on