Abu Dhabi: ADGM expands to become one of the largest financial districts in the world

This follows an increased demand from a wide range of international companies choosing the emirate as a preferred destination to expand and grow their businesses


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Mon 8 May 2023, 1:38 PM

Last updated: Mon 8 May 2023, 4:09 PM

The jurisdiction of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has been expanded to Al Reem Island, making it one of the largest financial districts in the world, with a total area of 1,438 hectares.

The issuance of UAE Cabinet Resolution No. 41 expanded ADGM’s jurisdiction as a financial free zone to Al Reem Island, adjacent to its current home of Al Maryah Island. This follows an increased demand from a wide range of international companies choosing Abu Dhabi as a preferred destination to expand and grow their businesses globally.

This underlines ADGM’s Growth Strategy 2023-2027, which aims to grow the financial sector of Abu Dhabi and position it as a leading global city, with the sector becoming a key contributor to its GDP.

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 10 times greater than its current footprint.

“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,” said Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and ADGM.

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.

“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.”

In the short span of eight years, ADGM has grown to support 1,400 operating entities, 5,500 business licences and a workforce of 11,000 people in ADGM Square. Last year, ADGM achieved a record increase of 56 per cent in assets under management, and a 30 per cent increase in active licences.

“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,” Al Zaabi added.

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.


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