Abu Dhabi to expand ADGM Financial District tenfold
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ADGM Financial District to expand, making it one among world’s largest financial centres

ADGM Financial District to expand, making it one among world’s largest financial centres

The UAE Cabinet’s resolution has expanded ADGM’s jurisdiction to Al Reem island in addition to Al Maryah island

Neesha Salian
ADGM to expand jurisdiction May 2023

Abu Dhabi has issued UAE Cabinet Resolution No 41 (for 2023), expanding the jurisdiction of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), as part of its diversification strategy.

The resolution underlines ADGM’s Growth Strategy 2023-2027, which aims to bolster and grow the financial sector of Abu Dhabi.

With the addition of Al Reem Island increasing the combined geographic area of ADGM to nearly 1,438 hectares, the ADGM financial district will be ten times greater than its current footprint.

The resolution expands ADGM’s jurisdiction as a financial free zone to Al Reem Island, adjacent to its current home of Al Maryah Island, based on rising demand from a wide range of international companies choosing the UAE’s capital city as a preferred destination to expand and grow their businesses globally.

By being based within the financial free zone’s jurisdiction, a qualifying business entity can benefit from the preferential corporate tax rate of 0 per cent on their qualifying income.

Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and ADGM said, “In line with the wise leadership vision to build our diversified future economy and the financial industry at its core, global financial institutions, family offices, entrepreneurs and leading fintech talent continue to choose ADGM as the location from which they access a deep pool of capital and a wide range of investment opportunities that are available in Abu Dhabi.”

Al Maryah Island is key to ADGM

He added: “Al Maryah Island is a thriving international financial centre, with occupancy already over 95 per cent and a strong pipeline of international companies wanting to expand or establish their footprint here. We have prioritised our ongoing efforts to continue to grow towards accommodating this ever-increasing demand.

“Al Maryah’s larger next-door neighbour, Al Reem Island, also presents an abundance of opportunities with access to a wide range of office spaces and world-class residential, educational, medical and lifestyle facilities. Together, as ADGM, Al Maryah and Al Reem Islands will be one of the most attractive places to live and work across financial centres worldwide.”

“This expansion provides us with a unique opportunity for Abu Dhabi to reinforce its position as a world-leading international financial centre and a global destination of choice. Combining our common law jurisdiction and pioneering regulatory framework across these two islands will unlock even greater economic opportunities. We look forward to engaging with all our strategic partners and stakeholders on how we can work together to realise this great ambition,” he stated.

ADGM highlights

In the short span of eight years,  the financial centre has grown to include 1,400 operating entities, 5,500 business licences and a workforce of 11,000 people in ADGM Square.

In 2022, it achieved a record increase of 56 per cent in assets under management (AUM) and a 30 per cent increase in active licences.

Abu Dhabi is considered the ‘Falcon Economy’ of the region and is home to the largest sovereign wealth funds with trillions of dollars in AUM and a wide network of venture capital and family offices.

ADGM and its authorities are currently working with key government stakeholders and other local authorities to finalise the necessary transitional arrangements that cover the activities of all entities presently operating on Al Reem Island, including those engaged in the financial services industry.

The relevant ADGM authority will contact Al Reem island community with the transition process in due course, according to the company’s statement.

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