ADGM joins World Alliance of International Financial Centres Association as founding member

ADGM FSRA 11/10/2018

Abu Dhabi Global Market, the International Financial Centre (IFC) in Abu Dhabi, is pleased to be one of the founding and global members of the World Alliance of International Financial Centres (WAIFC).  The WAIFC, comprising eleven international financial centres, is established to facilitate strategic cooperation, champion innovation, exchange best practices and bolster mutually beneficial cross-border opportunities across various markets.

Financial centres are vital contributor to ongoing developments and sustainable economic growth as they provide the infrastructure for investments and savings. As a united entity, the WAIFC will focus on projects including (i) data on financial centres, (ii) contribution of financial centres to green investment and infrastructure, (iii) new FinTech developments, and (iv) the role of financial centres in the financing of the economy.

Being a founding member of WAIFC, ADGM has introduced a series of novel initiatives ranging from first-in-the-region innovate regulatory frameworks, attractive corporate and investment structures, cross-border FinTech collaborations, to strengthening the financial expertise and literacy that will address the needs of the markets well into the future. These industry-focused initiatives include :-

  • A Global Regulatory Regime & Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab)
    Offering a controlled environment for local and international FinTech innovators to develop and test their products and services with real clients in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

  • 1st Digital Sandbox
    ADGM Digital Sandbox, a digital environment to host the testing of new FinTech products by industry participants, with direct regulator engagement. The ADGM Digital Sandbox will provide institutions and start-ups the ability to connect and share data, solutions and ideas to accelerate digital adoption. 

    The ADGM digital sandbox will provide a marketplace for open collaboration between FIs, FinTech firms, and regulators to facilitate testing and adoption of innovative digital financial products and services that can benefit the industry in the region. The digital marketplace has the potential to enable cross-border connectivity with other global FinTech hubs. This initiative dovetails well with Abu Dhabi's approach towards a digital economy

  • ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN)
    To foster a global marketplace for digital transformation and financial inclusion, ADGM will partner with the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN) to leverage on the global API Xchange (APIX) platform to bring together FIs and FinTech firms between the MENA region and the Asia-Pacific region onto an online digital platform enabled by open APIs.

  • World's First Comprehensive Crypto-Asset Regulatory Framework in MENA
    A globally-aligned and comprehensive framework for regulating the trading activities and custodianship of crypto Assets in the Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) space.

  • Industry e-KYC utility project
    ADGM and key UAE financial institutions successfully completed a proof-of-concept to develop an e-KYC based on blockchain to increase efficiency and decrease costs associated with on-boarding retail customers.

  • Tech Start-up License and Entrepreneurial Programme
    Supporting the growth of the start-up in Abu Dhabi, the ADGM tech start-up license enables entrepreneurs (sector agnostic) to obtain an ADGM operational license and access to set-up, funding and business support in an inclusive and nurturing innovative environment in Abu Dhabi

  • Private Financing Platform for Start-ups and SMEs
    An inclusive and risk-proportionate regulatory framework for private financial platforms (PFPs) to facilitate and provide access to alternative financing for private enterprises, start-ups and small-and-medium-enterprises in Abu Dhabi and wider MENA.

  • 1st Calibrated VC Manager Framework for the region
    Facilitating early-stage and VC investments in FinTech start-ups that are seeking capital to scale their business

  • Global FinTech Education Courses at ADGM Academy
    ADGM Academy, the state-of-the-art training and development centre for the financial services industry in MENA, provides a curriculum of training courses on the financial services industry including FinTech specialties such as InsurTech, WealthTech, RegTech, enterprise innovation, blockchain, Crypto Finance and more.

As an IFC and founding member of WAIFC, ADGM is committed to maintaining a robust regulatory, judicial, commercial and dispute resolution regime and infrastructure that supports the economic development of Abu Dhabi and the wellbeing of the region.

The World Alliance of International Financial Centres (WAIFC) was launched on 1 October by eleven financial centres such as:

  • Abu Dhabi Global Market
  • Astana International Financial Centre Authority
  • Belgian Finance Club
  • Busan International Financial City Promotion Center, BEPA
  • Casablanca Finance City Authority
  • Frankfurt Main Finance
  • Luxembourg for Finance
  • Moscow: Analytical Centre Forum
  • Oman: The Capital Market Authority
  • Toronto Finance International

For more details of WAIFIC and its mission, please click here.

As an IFC and founding member of WAIFC, ADGM is committed to maintaining a robust regulatory, judicial, commercial and dispute resolution regime and infrastructure that supports the economic development of Abu Dhabi and overall growth of the region.

About Abu Dhabi Global Market

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre (IFC) located in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, opened for business on 21 October 2015.  Established by UAE Federal Decree as a broad-based financial centre, ADGM augments Abu Dhabi's position as a global hub for business and finance and serves as a strategic link between the growing economies of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and the rest of the world.

ADGM's strategy is anchored by Abu Dhabi's key strengths including private banking, wealth management, asset management and financial innovation. Comprising three independent authorities: ADGM Courts, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority and the Registration Authority, ADGM as IFC governs Al Maryah Island, which is a designated financial free zone. It enables registered financial institutions, companies and entities to operate, innovate and succeed within an international regulatory framework based on Common Law.   Since its inception, ADGM has been awarded the "Financial Centre of the Year (MENA)" for two consecutive years for its initiatives and contributions to the financial and capital markets industry in the region.* 

For more details of ADGM, please visit or follow us on Twitter : @adglobalmarket and Linkedin : ADGM

* Source : The Global Investor Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Awards

For further enquiries, please contact:

Joan Lew, Senior Manager, Communications
Email:, Tel: +971 2 333 8858