The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) financial free zone said yesterday it will expand its area of jurisdiction by ten times, part of a push to make the sector a major economic contributor.
Abu Dhabi’s Statistics Centre said separately yesterday that the emirate’s economy grew by 9.3 per cent last year and that non-oil sectors made up half of gross domestic product (GDP).
The expansion of the international financial centre of the UAE capital Abu Dhabi comes as the UAE vies with a rapidly opening Saudi Arabia to be the go-to destination for economic activity in a region moving away from oil.
ADGM said the addition of Al Reem Island to its current location on al-Maryah Island would create one of the largest concentrated financial districts in the world.
Founded in October 2015, ADGM said it has 5,500 business licences operating within it.
Abu Dhabi wants to increase its non-oil exports by 143pc to 178.8 billion dirhams ($49 billion) by 2031, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development Chairman Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi told a conference.
The expansion will provide an “opportunity for Abu Dhabi to reinforce its position as a world-leading international financial centre and a global destination of choice”, said Ahmed Al Zaabi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and the ADGM.
“Al Maryah Island is a thriving international financial centre, with occupancy already over 95 per cent and a strong pipeline of international companies wanting to expand or establish their footprint here,” he said.
“We have prioritised our ongoing efforts to continue to grow towards accommodating this ever-increasing demand.
“Al Maryah’s larger next-door neighbour, Al Reem Island, also presents an abundance of opportunities, with access to a wide range of office spaces and world-class residential, educational, medical and lifestyle facilities.
“Together, as ADGM, Al Maryah and Al Reem Islands will be one of the most attractive places to live and work across financial centres worldwide.”