ADFW 2023: Unveiling the Falcon Economy’s ascent with a grand opening, Abu Dhabi Economic Forum launch

Global finance leaders assembled to analyze ADFW’s main theme ‘Investing in the transition era'
ADFW 2023: Unveiling the Falcon Economy’s ascent with a grand opening, Abu Dhabi Economic Forum launch
H.H. Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (right) and H.E. Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi (Photo Credit: ADFW 2023)

Under the esteemed patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Finance Week (ADFW) kicked off its four-day series of more than 46 sub-events. The proceedings began with a spectacular opening ceremony held within a specially-designed event dome at the South Plaza of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). This remarkable occasion was followed by the inauguration of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Economic Forum.

Read more: ADFW 2023: Financial sector thrived with 30 percent surge in Q2, says ADGM Chairman H.E. Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi

On the inaugural day of ADFW, notable and influential leaders from 100+ countries convened in one venue to partake in a series of targeted sessions that delved into Abu Dhabi’s ascent as a prominent global financial hub. The agenda encompassed keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and presentations, all shedding light on Abu Dhabi’s remarkable journey as an international financial center. Additionally, the investment strategies of Abu Dhabi’s Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) and the growing acknowledgement of ADGM as a climate finance hub were explored, providing valuable insights to the attendees.

ADFW 2023
His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Opening ceremony

A standout moment of the opening ceremony was the thought-provoking keynote address delivered by the renowned investor Ray Dalio. With great depth and insight, Mr. Dalio adeptly manoeuvred through the complexities of the ever-changing global landscape, as explored in his recent book. The prominent presence of influential leaders and renowned figures like Mr. Dalio emphasized the international importance of ADFW, and its overarching mission to delve into uncharted territories in finance and economics, seeking fresh perspectives and innovative paradigms.

The opening ceremony of ADFW also commemorated the collaboration between ADFW and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), who served as the event’s headline partner. This partnership symbolized a mutual dedication to propelling the financial and economic development of Abu Dhabi.

ADFW 2023
Ray Dalio

Fostering economic growth

In his address at the opening ceremony of ADFW, His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Member of Abu Dhabi’s Executive Council and Chairman of ADDED and ADGM welcomed the esteemed crowd to Abu Dhabi, the ‘Capital of Capital’ and the ‘Falcon’s Playground’ and shared his thoughts on the momentous occasion, saying, “Abu Dhabi Finance Week is a testament to our commitment to positioning Abu Dhabi as a global financial hub. The opening ceremony was a remarkable start to a week that promises to be filled with insightful discussions and meaningful partnerships. The Abu Dhabi Economic Forum, in particular, symbolizes our dedication to fostering economic growth and innovation, in alignment with the changing world order and the rising Falcon Economy of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”

ADFW 2023
His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi

Prestigious gathering

Taking place for the first time at ADFW, the Abu Dhabi Economic Forum, was conducted in partnership with ADQ. This high-level and prestigious gathering fostered in-depth conversations that delved into the dynamic economic landscape of Abu Dhabi amidst the evolving global environment. The forum explored key topics such as the emergence of the regional Falcon Economy, macroeconomic factors, and Abu Dhabi’s pivotal position as the ‘Capital of Capital.’

Distinguished leaders

The event saw the presence of an esteemed cohort of leaders, including CEOs of Sovereign Wealth Funds like ADQ and Mubadala, as well as Ministers of Economy and Climate. Engaging in meaningful discussions, these participants offered an international perspective on strategies aimed at fostering regional monetary cooperation in support of the Falcon Economy, highlighting the positive outcomes that can arise from such collaboration.

Investing in the Transition Era

ADFW placed a strong emphasis on its central theme, ‘Investing in the Transition Era,’ which received dedicated attention during a specific session. Prominent leaders from Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and around the world came together in this session to delve deep into the economic implications and investment prospects within ‘The Transition Era.’

Clear progress on all fronts

A highlight of the Forum was the appearance of Global Banking Titan, Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase & co, who praised Abu Dhabi’s economic growth planning, whilst announcing a major expansion of the bank’s operations in the Emirate. He stated ‘’The determination of the emirate that is forging ahead with its reform agendas is extremely impressive, be it their economic, financial and social agendas. These are not easy changes but there is clear progress on all fronts towards the goal to create a safe and secure society and a dynamic Falcon Economy’’. We’ve continued to add to the team this year and have submitted an application to upgrade our operating licence to a full category one banking entity, signalling our intent and commitment to the size of the opportunity here.’’

Furthermore, His Excellency Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, the UAE’s minister of Economy, shed light on his vision for the country’s economic policies and shared his perspectives on the essential elements driving future growth within the emerging Falcon Economy.

Premier platform

During her keynote speech at the Abu Dhabi Economic Forum, Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, the UAE minister of Climate Change & Environment, emphasized the forum’s significance as a premier platform for fostering connections and problem-solving within the finance and business community of the MENA region. Her Excellency addressed the global imperative of addressing climate change, commending the UAE’s proactive approach and advocating for a strategy that combines climate action with economic growth. She highlighted the crucial role of climate finance in realizing the objectives of the Paris Agreement, expressing the UAE’s commitment to driving transformative change at COP28 and making climate financing more accessible, available, and affordable worldwide.

Established in 2018, ADQ, one of the world’s leading Sovereign Wealth Funds, showcased its remarkable progress over the past five years during an exclusive session at the Abu Dhabi Economic Forum. The session provided an in-depth exploration of ADQ’s vision, journey, and investment approach that have contributed to its success. ADQ’s diverse portfolio encompasses sectors such as energy, utilities, food and agriculture, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, mobility, and logistics.

Significant partnerships

ADFW’s inaugural day witnessed the announcement of significant partnerships. This included the release of a joint white paper by Masdar and PwC titled “Accelerating renewable energy investment in West Africa,” as well as Etoro, the strategic partner of the Abu Dhabi Economic Forum, obtaining its Financial Services Permission from ADGM. Additionally, Vibrant Capital Partners, a prominent alternative credit investment manager, unveiled the opening of its office within ADGM.

ADGM also made a notable announcement by extending its facilities arrangement with the World Bank’s office for an additional five years. This commitment signifies a continued collaboration on various opportunities, including research, knowledge exchange, events, and policymaking.

Abu Dhabi Finance Week is currently in full swing, with upcoming events such as Asset Abu Dhabi, Fintech Abu Dhabi, and the R.A.C.E Sustainability Summit scheduled for November 28th, 29th, and 30th, respectively. These forthcoming events are set to further enhance Abu Dhabi’s reputation as the ‘Capital of Capital’ and a global hub for financial and sustainable innovation.

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