Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) ends 2020 on a strong note despite all-round disaster caused by Covid-19 pandemic. 2020 is marked as the record year of achievement for ADGM with remarkable growth in key areas of fintech, regulation, sustainable finance and arbitration.
Amidst the adverse impact of the pandemic, ADGM continued to register steady growth in its three authorities namely the ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), the ADGM Registration Authority (RA), and the ADGM Courts. ADGM increased the number of registered licences by 43%, totalling 3,211 by year-end 2020. Assets increased by 193% totalling over USD 85 billion.
H.E. Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State (UAE) and Chairman of ADGM noted: “The year 2020 had been a trying period for the UAE and its community. However, the timely intervention and invaluable responses from the UAE leadership, the Abu Dhabi government and authorities have helped the country and its people to overcome the challenges brought on by the pandemic. The UAE economy is also well underway to recovery and further growth.”
“Despite the strong headwinds from the pandemic, ADGM grew to become more agile and responsive to the needs of its stakeholders and customers. We have achieved better results and developments than expected this year. We had welcomed the successful amendment of ADGM’s Founding law, launched several transformational initiatives, formed historical partnerships, and also established greater outcomes in the FinTech, arbitration, sustainable finance and academy fronts. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the Abu Dhabi leadership and government, our partners and customers for their unwavering support of ADGM. All these are possible only because of their trust and vote of confidence in us,” the Chairman of ADGM highlighted.
H.E.Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh also commented saying, “2020 marks the fifth year in operations for ADGM as an International Financial Centre. The ADGM team is committed to better serve the needs of its community and will continue to do our part in bolstering the financial development, growth and economic sustainability of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. We look forward to 2021 with anticipation and great hope for our nation.”
ADGM marked its 5th anniversary in 2020 and finished the year by hosting the fourth edition of its flagship event, the FinTech Abu Dhabi Festival, in association with the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE).
More than 7,500 delegates from over 110 countries participated in this event held in a virtual format and was a record success. FinTech AD convened the world’s foremost policymakers, regulators, investors and FinTechs to a digital platform and hosted leading initiatives including the Government FinTech Forum, the FinTech100 and the Innovation Challenge.
2020, also saw the official launch of the ADGM Digital Lab enabling the rapid prototyping and adoption of digital solutions aiding businesses to overcome their pain points and accessing new market opportunities for company formation in Abu Dhabi and showcased ADGM FSRA’s growth as a financial regulator.
ADGM Academy has been expanded in co-operation with the Human Resources Authority (HRA) and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) to create an education platform for young Emiratis. Together, these four institutions will launch The Bankers Programme, a new initiative to support the government’s requirements for vital professions guided by the UAE Central Bank and in line with FAB’s talent employment and management requirements.
ADGM also exhibited significant progress in Sustainable Finance and has hosted the second edition of its flagship Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum serving as a background to several high-profile announcements, including the region’s first green Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), as well as the second round of signatories of the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Declaration.
2020 also witnessed ADGM and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment releasing the ‘State of Sustainable Finance’ report, underscoring the collective achievements by private and public sector stakeholders. This year also saw agreements with Israeli bank Hapoalim and Israel Securities Authority.
ADGM also expanded its partnership network with globally recognised institutions and regulators such as the Aurora50, Abu Dhabi Exports Office, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Companies House Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission, and ArbitralWomen, among others and had entered into a total of 208 MoUs, including 88 International MoUs and Statements of Cooperation (SoCs).
2020 showcased ADGM’s commitment to its community members through various support and relief measures introduced including an array of fee reductions, waivers and refunds, including a 100% waiver on continuation fees, annual fund fees and commercial licence renewal fees, and a 50% waiver on any new supervision fees, a 50% refund of supervision fees, and a 50% reduction on the incorporation fee for new ADGM companies boosting up business set up in Abu Dhabi.