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    ADGM welcomes Al Reem Island businesses to its community

    ADGM 01/11/2023
    • Existing Al Reem Island businesses are invited to obtain an ADGM licence once their current ADDED licence expires. They have until 31st December 2024 to do so.
    • From 1st November 2023 all businesses planning to establish a new presence on Al Reem Island must submit their commercial licence applications to ADGM.
    • ADGM Businesses benefit from the direct application of English common law, an independent court and a business friendly environment.
    • As one of the largest financial districts in the world post its expansion, ADGM’s jurisdiction brings forth new and interesting opportunities for its community.

    Following the issuance of UAE Cabinet Resolution No. 41 of 2023, which expands the jurisdiction of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial centre of the UAE’s capital, from Al Maryah Island to include Al Reem Island, ADGM has officially declared the commencement of its operations on Al Reem Island.

    The expansion seamlessly aligns with Abu Dhabi's economic vision, emphasising the pivotal role of its thriving financial sector in its diversification strategy. It underscores ADGM's Growth Strategy for 2023-2027, aiming to grow Abu Dhabi's financial sector and reinforce its position as a global financial hub, with the sector playing a pivotal role in contributing to the GDP of the UAE as a whole.

    This decision follows heightened demand from a wide range of international companies choosing Abu Dhabi as their preferred destination for global business expansion. With the inclusion of Al Reem Island, ADGM's geographic footprint has expanded to nearly 14.3 million square meters, making ADGM’s financial district ten times larger than before. The expansion is set to provide more significant opportunities for international companies wishing to come to ADGM.

    Transitional Arrangements for Existing Al Reem Island Businesses

    ADGM has announced amendments to various regulations to provide transitional arrangements to support existing Al Reem Island businesses. These businesses will receive an exemption from compliance with ADGM’s registration and licensing requirements, and certain regulations, up to 31st December 2024. This is to allow them time to obtain the licences and permits necessary to operate after 31st December 2024.

    During this transitional period, existing businesses on Al Reem Island may choose to renew their Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) licence or instead apply for an ADGM licence or permit. However, ADDED licences will not be valid for operation in ADGM beyond 31st December 2024.

    ADGM looks forward to welcoming Al Reem businesses into its community and is committed to ensure a smooth and transparent transition.

    ADGM Commercial Licence Applications Mandatory for New Al Reem Island Businesses

    From 1st November 2023 new businesses planning to establish their presence on Al Reem Island must secure a commercial licence from ADGM rather than the ADDED. Upon the issuance of an ADGM commercial licence, those businesses will be subject to the laws, regulations and administrative requirements of ADGM, which are different to those applicable to ADDED entities. All ADGM licence applicants should consider the relevant ADGM laws and regulations (available via ADGM online) and, where appropriate, seek independent legal advice.

    Operating within ADGM offers several advantages as it is not just the only jurisdiction in the region with the direct application of English Common Law but also one of the largest and fastest-growing financial districts in the region, both geographically and in numbers. ADGM enables access to markets, capital and talent along with tax benefits, progressive regulations, capital, and lifestyle in a centrally and strategically located international financial centre.

    New businesses establishing themselves on Al Reem Island will benefit from becoming a part of ADGM’s thriving community. With a robust network comprising 1,590 entities and a cumulative workforce of 12,080 talented individuals, the opportunities for collaboration, innovation, and growth are unparalleled. This dynamic ecosystem not only fosters synergies but also provides a rich pool of resources and expertise that can accelerate business success.

    Other licences

    • If any other permits or licences (in addition to ADDED licences) are required to be obtained or maintained under the applicable laws (including licences from federal or Abu Dhabi authorities), then such businesses are advised to approach the appropriate authority.
    • Please note that commercial licences do not substitute such other licences and requirements will continue to apply.
    • Further guidance on these matters will be officially published and can also be requested by reaching out to ADGM.

    For support during this transition period, ADGM will engage with existing businesses on Al Reem Island. To contact the ADGM team during this period, please refer to the Contact Us section of the dedicated webpage: Al Reem Island Expansion.