ADGM’s Expansion to Al Reem Island

ADGM’s Expansion to Al Reem Island

Abu Dhabi Global Market (known also as ADGM), a financial free zone based in Abu Dhabi, expanded its territorial coverage to Al Reem Island on April 24, 2023. This means that Al Reem Island has come under ADGM jurisdiction, pursuant to such a decision. Apparently, such a move would have legal implications on both the existing businesses based on Al Reem Island, which was a mainland jurisdiction prior to ADGM’s takeover. Moreover, new businesses that want to establish in Al Reem Island territories shall register with and obtain a license with ADGM.

Implications on Existing Businesses

Existing businesses in Al Reem Island can continue to operate with their existing license from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economy as usual till December 31, 2024. During this period, ADGM exempts existing companies from ADGM’s regulations, registration, and licensing requirements. However, after December 31, 2024, the existing businesses must either have an ADGM license or move out of Al Reem Island. The businesses that wish to stay within ADGM must start the company registration and license process under ADGM as soon as possible.

ADGM Authority has given this transition period till December 31, 2024, to allow time for existing businesses in Al Reem to obtain the appropriate licenses and permits to remain and operate within ADGM’s jurisdiction.

Moreover, ADGM will regulate all types of businesses located in Al Reem Island, meaning that any type of business will have to either comply with ADGM requirements or move out during the transition time. 

Regulated businesses such as banks, financial service providers, asset managers, etc. are subject to specific conditions of license and require additional approval from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority.

What benefits does ADGM offer to existing businesses that wish to continue under ADGM jurisdiction?

ADGM follows a completely different legal framework, which is modern and flexible compared to the legal framework on the mainland. Among other things, these are some of the major benefits the ADGM offers to businesses that operate from ADGM:

  • ADGM applies directly to English Common Law, which is internationally recognized, commonly used, and renowned for being transparent and predictable, providing freedom of contract with a pro-business approach
  • ADGM provides a one-stop solution for all government-related transactions from license registration to immigration services, business support, and other corporate services
  • Online company registration and license process
  • ADGM ecosystem that gives access to 1600 operational businesses, including asset managers, global funds, financial institutions, leading advisors, law firms, capital providers, tech and digital companies, family offices, etc.

New business applications

From the 1st of November 2023, anyone who wants to establish a business in Al Reem Island will need to register their company and obtain a license from ADGM.

How CorpLex can help?

At CorpLex, we’re committed to simplifying the process of transferring your business to ADGM. Whether you’re setting up a new company or transferring your existing business in Al Reem Island to ADGM, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Our experienced team ensures a hassle-free process by handling all the technicalities and legal requirements on your behalf. You can rely on us as your dependable partner, ensuring a smooth and successful business registration in ADGM.