The focus of this paper is the rationale and impact of the adoption of a globalized set of accounting standards on an emerging economy, with particular emphasis on the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The paper is based on data gathered primarily from archival sources, studied in the context of the globalization of international financial reporting and the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The UAE has embraced globalization in order to participate in the benefits it offers, including attracting foreign direct investment. Its adoption of IFRS is part of that process. In implementing IFRS, the UAE will face challenges including the development of a legal and regulatory structure to overcome a culture of secrecy and fraud, prevalent in emerging economies with a non-democratic history.