Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) is the international financial centre located in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Having begun operations in 2015, ADGM is mandated to promote the UAE’s financial services industry locally, regionally and globally through its four independent authorities – the Registration Authority (RA), the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), the ADGM Authority, and the ADGM Courts. “Abu Dhabi is strategically located in the centre of several active markets in the East and West. ADGM, as an extension of Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification strategy, aims to serve as a gateway for further investment and business to the emirate as part of its aim to be a recognised knowledge-based economy and flourishing international financial centre.” said Juma Al Hameli, Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer at ADGM.
As digitalization of the banking and financial sectors accelerates, Fintech is becoming increasingly important for ADGM which has set a regulatory regime in place since 2017. “Fintech is very interesting for us. In 2017, we set up a regulatory regime for Fintech as we saw the importance of the sector and we recognised that this is the future” explained Al Hameli. “Since then, we have also established Fintech Abu Dhabi, an event that attracts the world’s best Fintech companies to the UAE and connects them with regulators and potential investors. To facilitate this even more, we have established the Digital Lab, a virtual environment with access to resources such as data, APIs, system images and reference architectures, for everyone involved” he said.
The UAE’s well-organized Fintech ecosystem has drawn interest from its counterpart in Israel, which is known for being one of the best in world. Following the Abraham Accords, Israeli Fintech companies are now able to move in the UAE and expand regionally. “When we signed the Abraham Accords with Israel, we were very excited as this opened the door to an undeniably strong market,” highlighted Al Hameli. Following this development, ADGM has signed agreements with Bank Hapoalim – one of Israel’s largest banks – and with the Israel Securities Authority to create a bridge for business to flow between both jurisdictions. “ADGM is the right platform for Israeli companies to come and propose their solutions to the challenges facing the banking and financial industries and I am very excited about what the future holds,” he concluded.