Building a Thriving Business Ecosystem at the Intersection of Global Growth Markets

ADGM Abu Dhabi Global Market


Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) is a leading International Financial Centre sitting at the intersection of Middle Eastern, African, South-East Asian and Chinese markets — a region brimming with investment opportunities.

Established in 2015, ADGM comprises three authorities: the Registration Authority (RA), the Financial Services Authority (FSRA), and the ADGM Courts. It facilitates the growth and development of Abu Dhabi’s economy and sustainability.

Since its inception, ADGM has provided a progressive platform to financial and non-financial entities looking to operate, pursue and expand their business in Abu Dhabi and the wider MENA region.

“Anchored by a robust commitment to Abu Dhabi’s position as a preferred investment destination, ADGM aligns its endeavours with international standards and best practices while catering to market demand.”

Anchored by a robust commitment to Abu Dhabi’s position as a preferred investment destination, ADGM aligns its endeavours with international standards and best practices while catering to market demand.

With its global connections, ADGM is an internationally recognised business hub that continuously attracts international investors and pioneering entities, champions leading initiatives, and facilitates local and global financial collaborations.

ADGM Courts

ADGM Courts has been fully operational since May 2016 as part of Abu Dhabi’s vision to create and develop a common law court unlike any before it. Its regulations and supporting rules enshrine ADGM’s legal framework of the direct application of English common law — a first for the region — comprised of a Court of First Instance and a Court of Appeal that handle civil and commercial disputes.

ADGM Courts was the first in the MENA region to enact a comprehensive framework for third-party litigation funding. The funding rules provide parties and funders with greater certainty on the enforceability of funding arrangements. ADGM’s legislative framework directly applies the English common law, allowing ADGM Courts to draw on a well-established set of precedents.

With innovation embedded at the core of its business formulation, ADGM Courts has introduced several global firsts in its short period of operations, including the launch of world’s first fully digital courtroom and the introduction of the eCourts platform, transforming the delivery of legal solutions.

ADGM Registration Authority

The ADGM RA is an independent authority responsible for the registration and administration of legal entities, real property interests, data protection and charges created over companies’ assets.

As one of the core pillars of ADGM, the registrar’s main functions under companies and commercial licensing regulations include:

Registration of ADGM establishments, business names and maintenance of register, post-incorporation documentation; changes in business name particulars, and changes in directors, officers, shareholders and share capital. It is responsible for the enforcement of ADGM company regulations, the cancellation of commercial licenses, prosecution and the strike-off, dissolution or restoration of ADGM establishments.

The ADGM RA is a leader in customer service efficiency, offering a digital-by-default one-stop-shop for more than 340 online solutions for applicants and licensees through its dedicated Online Registry Solution Portal.

ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority

The ADGM FSRA advocates for a progressive, robust, and thriving financial services environment. Its primary function is to maintain the integrity of the financial hub, placing ADGM’S registered entities at the forefront of financial protection and stability.
The FSRA’s fundamental beliefs focus on fair, efficient, and transparent practices that meet the dynamic and growing needs of the Abu Dhabi economy, and benchmark against global markets and international best-practice.

Offering the highest level of regulatory transparency and engagement, the FSRA practices an open and progressive approach in its regulatory operations, through public consultations, engagement on introduction, and the amendment of rules and policies.

ADGM’s concerted focus on fostering growth and entrepreneurship turned the FSRA into a leader for a robust regulatory framework, recognised as best-in-class globally.

FSRA is a recognised leader in innovative regulatory work. Its 2018 comprehensive framework to regulate its virtual asset activities, including those by exchanges, custodians and other intermediaries, was a regional first. Licensing of digital banks, work on bank recovery and resolution rules, as well as introduction of the region’s first digital sandbox in 2019 set a high watermark for regulators across the MENA region and beyond.

ADGM Arbitration Centre

The ADGM Arbitration Centre (ADGMAC) is a state-of-the-art hearing facility established to effectively reshape the regional dispute resolution landscape through alternative solutions. The ADGMAC is open to all who seek a modern and business-friendly venue with exceptional support facilities for arbitration hearings or mediations, regardless of which institution parties choose to administer their arbitration.

ADGM Academy

Delivering world-class financial education and literacy, the ADGM Academy was established to reinforce talent within the financial sector and drive the establishment of a knowledge-based economy in the UAE and beyond.

ADGM Academy provides world-class financial research and training services to equip future generations with the necessary skills to navigate the ever-changing financial sector, as well as aid organisations looking for bespoke courses tailored to develop their workforce. The courses and certificates available include qualifications in banking, finance, leadership and sustainability.

Sustainable Finance

ADGM has been pioneering sustainable finance efforts in the MENA region for the last two years. In November 2018, it unveiled its plan to strengthen Abu Dhabi as a global centre for sustainable finance at the IIF MENA Financial Summit. The ambition first took shape during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2019, when ADGM successfully hosted the inaugural Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum (ADSFF).

The forum served as a platform to launch the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Declaration and the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Agenda promoting the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The second edition of ADSFF witnessed the publishing of the UAE’s first set of Guiding Principles on Sustainable Finance, which serves as a catalyst in the implementation of the UAE’s sustainability priorities. In addition, the number of signatories on the declaration reached 36 public and private-sector entities, with an additional 11 entities signing the declaration, pledging greater transparency and accountability in their operations to support sustainable development and climate change objectives.

The signatories include Central Bank of the UAE, Mubadala Group, the Ministry of Energy and Industry, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the Abu Dhabi Exchange, Dubai Financial Market, Nasdaq Dubai, and some of the nation’s biggest banks such as First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, and Abu Dhabi Financial Group.

Belt and Road initiative

ADGM is uniquely positioned as a gateway into the multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road initiative thanks to partnership agreements signed with state-owned Chinese entities and the opening of the first ADGM international representative office in Beijing.

In 2019, ADGM has announced collaborations and ties with the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Local Financial Regulation, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China, the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the Everbright Group, the Hainan Free-Trade Zone, OneConnect Financial Technology, the Jiangsu government, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the UAE-China Industrial Co-operation Demonstration Zone, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the Asian Financial Co-operation Association and Guo-Tai Jun-An Securities.

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