Abu Dhabi expands ADGM financial free zone to Al Reem Island

The jurisdiction of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) financial free zone has been expanded to Al Reem Island, adjacent to its current home of Al Maryah Island, making it one of the largest financial districts in the world, with a total area of 1,438 hectares – 10 times greater than its current footprint.

The expansion of ADGM’s jurisdiction was approved by UAE Cabinet Resolution No. 41 and 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. Qualifying business entities based within the financial free zone can benefit from the preferential corporate tax rate of 0% on their qualifying income.

“Al Maryah Island is a thriving international financial centre, with occupancy already over 95% 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,” said Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and ADGM.

First established in 2013 and becoming fully operational in October 2015, 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% in assets under management and a 30% increase in active licences.

Al Reem Island offers an abundance of opportunities with access to a wide range of office spaces and world-class residential, educational, medical and lifestyle facilities. ADGM and its authorities are currently working with key stakeholders to finalise the necessary transitional arrangements that cover the activities of all entities presently operating there, including those engaged in financial services.

“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,” said Al Zaabi. “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.”

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