Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has several notable achievements in 2022, making it the fastest growing IFC in the region. ADGM has played an important role in positioning Abu Dhabi as a leading financial powerhouse and ‘Falconry Economy’ by leveraging its strengths and contributing to innovation, transformation and diversification across key industries.
In 2022, ADGM’s strategic drive across traditional and new age financial clusters creates opportunities for business development, local market adoption and talent acquisition. IFC improves its operating model, organizational structure, streamlines processes and improves systems to increase efficiency.
ADGM’s key achievements in 2022 include:
- Assets under management grew 56% in 2022.
- ADGM Square will employ 10,954 employees in 2022 compared to 8,522 in 2021, an increase of 29%.
- ADGM has signed a total of 25 MoUs in 2022, promoting the center’s business-friendly environment and facilitating the seamless integration of ease of doing business, customer service and international financial center operations.
- ADGM has a total of 5,546 active licenses, including financial services firms and non-financial firms, compared to 4,262 firms reporting in 2021, indicating a 30% increase in total active licenses in 2022.
- Operating entities within ADGM increased by 30% from 1,061 to 1,378 in total.
- ADGM-registered companies Borouge, Burjeel Holdings, Bayanat AI and Americana Restaurants listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) last year. American Restaurants gets a dual listing as it is also listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange. Anghami, whose global headquarters and R&D center is located in ADGM, will be listed on NASDAQ in 2022.
- With the launch of the Al Maryah Tower in 2022, the addition of 32,000sqm of space reflects the continued occupancy growth of ADGM Plaza and proves that the center is an attractive purpose for global anchors and financial institutions to establish their presence in ADGM land.
- ADGM has positioned itself as the leading international financial center in the Middle East and Africa region and is globally recognized as the 32nd best international financial center according to the GFCI 32 report.
- The number of cases in ADGM courts increased significantly to 317 in 2022 compared to 139 in 2021, with more than 80% of these cases due to parties outside ADGM choosing the court to resolve their disputes.
- ADGM Academy (ADGMA) has successfully placed 1,033 UAE nationals in private companies, focusing on key positions in the banking, finance, investment and digital sectors.
In 2022, ADGM authorities have taken major steps across sectors to create a more robust and progressive business environment. Key highlights for 2022 include:
- ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) has enhanced its capital markets framework by introducing environmental instruments to enable trading of carbon credits and offsets. New regulations for environmental instruments have prompted AirCarbon Exchange, the world’s first fully regulated carbon trading exchange and carbon clearing house, to establish its global operations in Abu Dhabi.
- FSRA announced the introduction of a private capital markets regulatory framework, over-the-counter leveraged products and FATCA tax legislation to explore potential opportunities emerging in the financial sector, emphasizing its key pillars of transparency, accountability and market integrity within the Centre,
- FSRA made improvements to its Common Reporting Standard Regulations, introduced regulatory guidance on the regulatory approach to virtual assets (Virtual Assets 2.0 Framework), and announced whistleblower guidance.
- ADGM achieved “carbon neutral” status in 2022 by offsetting its carbon emissions in 2021, thus becoming the world’s first “carbon neutral” international financial center.
- ADGM, in partnership with the UAE Sustainable Finance Working Group, led the release of the second high-level statement, ‘2022 Public Statement on Sustainable Finance Cooperation in the UAE’. This release is aligned with COP27.
- ADGM’s Registration Authorities (RAs) have announced proposed changes to ADGM’s business legislation and its corporate service provider (CSP) framework through separate consultation papers.
- ADGM Courts continues to demonstrate its leadership in digitizing justice by announcing the launch of the world’s first blockchain technology for the enforcement of commercial judgments globally.
- ADGM Arbitration Center launches the world’s first ‘Mediation in the metaverse’ to increase the reach and effectiveness of mediation as the preferred form of dispute resolution and revolutionize the way mediation is delivered globally.
- Initiated by ADGM Courts and ADGM Arbitration Center as Abu Dhabi’s Dispute Resolution Forum, the first RESOLVE was attended by more than 2,400 physical and virtual UAE’s ‘Towards the Future 50’.
- ADGM launched Abu Dhabi Finance Week (ADFW), focusing on four themed days namely Assets Abu Dhabi, Fintech Abu Dhabi, Crypto Abu Dhabi and RACE (Regulation, Awareness, Collaboration, Ecosystem). ADFW hosted more than 30 events, attracting more than 8,200 attendees.
Ahmed Al Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of ADGM, said: “With substantial progress in 2022, ADGM has positioned itself as the fastest growing IFC in the region and continues to contribute to the growth of Abu Dhabi’s ‘falcon economy’. Each milestone achieved by ADGM underscores our capital’s solid foundations as a sustainable international financial center, demonstrating global significance.”
He added: “Positive results from ADGM’s adoption of a technology-driven and functional cluster strategy in 2022 are promising and will continue in 2023 as we see an increasing number of global investors, corporates and professionals attracted to Abu Dhabi and make it their preferred destination for work and development.”