Abu Dhabi Global Market, the UAE capital’s financial free zone, has declared itself “open for business” and ready to accept applications from potential member firms.
ADGM, an international financial centre in the heart of the capital of the UAE, a centre of wealth and a gateway to the growing economies of the region and beyond,” said Ahmed Al Sayegh, the chairman of ADGM, who has overseen the two-and-a-half year preparation for its launch.
“We have been steadfast in our strategy of building a centre based on collaboration and input from local, regional and international institutions to ensure that we offer a jurisdiction that provides businesses with what they need and want in order to grow and succeed,” he added.
The announcement follows the formal publication of ADGM’s rules and regulations, after an extended period of consultation with some of the biggest names in regional and global finance.
Firms and individuals can now apply for the appropriate financial services licences under an internationally recognisable legislative and regulatory framework that facilitates their local, regional and international expansion, ADGM said in a statement.
ADGM is regarded as an essential element of Abu Dhabi’s long-term strategy of economic diversification, as set out in the Economic Vision 2030. It will initially focus on private banking and wealth and asset management, but has been designed to accommodate the full spectrum of the financial services industry.
Private banking and wealth management are considered to be boosting parts of the global financial industry, especially in the Middle East. A recent report from the Swiss bank Credit Suisse forecast a growing number of millionaires in the UAE and Saudi Arabia over the next five years, despite the fall in oil prices.
“We have established ADGM with an initial core focus based on Abu Dhabi’s strength of wealth management, asset management and private banking. However, we have the flexibility to grow into a broad based centre, attracting a wide spectrum of financial institutions who will choose ADGM as their home. This will cement ADGM’s global position and ensure we contribute to the global ecosystem of international markets and business networks.”
Several big regional and international banks are believed to be weighing up applications for ADGM membership.