ADGM officially initiates operations on Al Reem Island

ADGM introduces transitional arrangements to assist existing businesses on Al Reem Island
ADGM officially initiates operations on Al Reem Island
Al Reem Island (Photo Credit: ADGM)

After the issuance of UAE Cabinet Resolution No. 41 of 2023, which broadens the jurisdiction of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the UAE’s capital international financial center, to encompass Al Reem Island in addition to Al Maryah Island, ADGM has officially announced the initiation of its operations on Al Reem Island.

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The expansion seamlessly aligns with Abu Dhabi’s economic vision, highlighting the vital role of its thriving financial sector in the diversification strategy. It underscores ADGM’s Growth Strategy for 2023-2027, which aims to foster the growth of Abu Dhabi’s financial sector and strengthen its position as a global financial hub. The sector is poised to play a pivotal role in contributing to the overall GDP of the UAE.

Heightened demand

This decision comes in response to increased demand from a diverse array of international companies selecting 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. This expansion aims to create even greater opportunities for international companies looking to establish a presence within ADGM.

Transitional arrangements 

ADGM has introduced amendments to several regulations, introducing transitional arrangements to assist existing businesses on Al Reem Island. These businesses will be granted an exemption from ADGM’s registration and licensing requirements, as well as specific regulations, until December 31, 2024. This grace period will provide them with ample time to acquire the necessary licenses and permits to continue their operations beyond December 31, 2024.

Throughout the transitional period, businesses currently operating on Al Reem Island have the option to either renew their Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) license or apply for an ADGM license or permit. It is important to note that ADDED licenses will not be valid for operations within ADGM beyond the 31st of December 2024.

ADGM eagerly anticipates embracing the Al Reem Island businesses into its community and is dedicated to facilitating a seamless and transparent transition for all involved parties.

ADGM commercial licence applications mandatory 

Starting from November 1, 2023, new businesses intending to establish themselves on Al Reem Island must obtain a commercial license from ADGM instead of ADDED. Once an ADGM commercial license is granted, these businesses will be subject to the distinct laws, regulations, and administrative requirements of ADGM, which differ from those applicable to ADDED entities. All applicants for an ADGM license should carefully review the relevant ADGM laws and regulations (accessible online) and, if necessary, seek independent legal counsel.

ADGM provides numerous benefits to businesses, making it a highly advantageous jurisdiction. Not only does it stand as the sole region with the direct implementation of English Common Law, but it also boasts one of the largest and most rapidly expanding financial districts in terms of both size and market presence. ADGM offers access to markets, capital, and talent, along with tax advantages, forward-thinking regulations, a thriving financial ecosystem, and a desirable lifestyle—all within a strategically located international financial center.

New businesses that choose to establish themselves on Al Reem Island will enjoy the advantages of joining ADGM’s vibrant community. With a strong network of 1,590 entities and a collective workforce of 12,080 talented individuals, unparalleled opportunities for collaboration, innovation, and growth await. This dynamic ecosystem not only encourages synergies but also offers a wealth of resources and expertise that can expedite business success.

Other licences

  • If there are any additional permits or licenses, apart from ADDED licenses, that need to be obtained or upheld according to the relevant laws (including licenses from federal or Abu Dhabi authorities), it is advised for these businesses to contact the respective authority responsible for granting such licenses.
  • 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.

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