Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the financial centre of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) capital, has announced that 14 major financial centres representing $452bn will set up new operations in the city.

Several businesses, including asset managers NinetyOne ($144bn) and GQC Partners ($105bn), independent financial services group Rothschild & Co, hedge fund TCI and social trading platform eToro have confirmed their intention to establish operations in ADGM.

The announcement today (30 November) came during the second edition of the Abu Dhabi Finance Week (ADFW) taking place in Abu Dhabi. The event is meant to promote ADGM’s emergence as a global financial centre.

Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JP Morgan, welcomed the news, saying: “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 of creating a safe and secure society and a dynamic Falcon Economy. We have 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.”

ADGM has been striving to improve its regulatory environment, as the UAE is looking to move away from fossil fuels and attract more sustainable finance and climate-related projects. In 2015, the UAE became the first Middle Eastern country to ratify the Paris Agreement, and it was the first to pledge net zero by 2050 in October 2021.

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In total, 23 market announcements were made during ADFW, including operational upgrades by The World Bank & JP Morgan, as well as financial institutions ranging from fintech to sustainable finance.

Commenting on the developments, H.E. Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and ADGM, said: “What we are witnessing in Abu Dhabi today, with major global players choosing the capital city to base their business operations is proof of a unique global opportunity being seized by future thinking institutions.

“We warmly welcome their presence and support in the growth and diversification of the ‘Falcon Economy’. This is the most successful week in ADGM’s history.”

Overall, the UAE reported a 4% increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) levels, reaching $20.7bn in 2021, ranking first in FDI inflows among West Asian countries.