The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the UAE’s new financial free zone, has signed up 160 member firms in its first year of business, in what it calls a “milestone” for the capital’s long-term economic plan.
The market, which declared itself open for business last October, has attracted eight financial firms so far, and 152 non-financials, including law firms, professional and corporate service providers, and family offices.
There is also an increasing number of retail and leisure companies operating on Al Maryah Island headquarters in the capital.
Dhaher Bin Dhaher Almheiri, the chief executive of ADGM’s registration authority, said: “As a broad-based financial centre, ADGM has been focused on creating a business-friendly and sustainable eco-system where local companies and international entities can grow together. We remain relevant and responsive to the needs of our market by maintaining a dynamic platform and safeguarding the best interests of our registered companies and stakeholders.
“Through ADGM, businesses have access to and can conduct a wide range of activities to bolster their growth. We also have a supportive framework that meets the needs and requirements of family businesses by safeguarding their assets.
“Numerous family businesses and individual companies have also set up in ADGM as it provides a supportive framework which allows them to manage family interests and safeguard their assets in the most efficient manner,” Mr Almheiri said.
In challenging economic times for the region in the wake of falling oil prices, ADGM executives are satisfied with the rate of growth, which they say compares favourably with the early years’ performance of other financial centres in the region.
The push to attract new members continues. “ADGM will continue to work closely with key stakeholders to review opportunities and develop new synergies to attract more local and global brand names to Al Maryah Island,” it said in a statement.
Financial technology and family offices are two sectors expected to see growth in numbers next year.
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