Abu Dhabi

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In Brief

With technology and entrepreneurialism at the forefront of culture, and with increasing investments throughout the emirate, Abu Dhabi can be seen as both an active enabler of technology and one of the most prominent tech-powered financial hubs in the Middle East.

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre established on English Common Law, has a comprehensive set of regulatory frameworks that support the adoption of FinTech innovation.

ADGM introduced a digital sandbox – the Digital Lab – that allows financial institutions and FinTechs to collaborate, test and develop innovation solutions under the supervision of the financial regulator

ADGM has also established an academy to deliver world-class financial education and literacy through a wide range of globally-recognised educational and experiential programmes.

In Abu Dhabi, to form a LLC the minimum capital requirement is AED 150,000.

As part of ‘Ghadan 21’, AED4 billion was allocated to a R&D fund. It was created to help private companies, which will be able to apply for financial assistance. Rebates of up to 50% on a company’s R&D spending will be offered, with a further 25% if a product reaches the market.

Hub71, a tech hub located in the heart of Abu Dhabi that brings together key enablers for startups to succeed, provides access to incentive and funding schemes, accelerator programmes, favourable business environment and global markets.

Telr’s mission is to create seamless connections in the e-commerce ecosystem by removing fragmentation, with a focus on enabling cashless transactions and digitising payment acceptance methods for customers.


Optasia, previously known as Channel VAS, is an AI platform that enables financial access for the next billion customers. The platform is designed for mobile network operators, mobile wallet operators and financial institutions as a versatile, data-driven B2B2X (business-to-business-to-customers and SMEs) financial technology solution.


Tabby is a UAE-based fintech, that offers consumers a flexible payment option to pay for their on and offline purchases in either a single payment at a later date or, in multiple instalments. Customers can split their purchases into four interest-free payments with no additional fees or interest.

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Market Summary


Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate, and over the recent decades, it has undergone a significant transformation in economic growth. While recognising the success of the oil sector, Abu Dhabi is working hard to reduce its hydrocarbons reliance; investment in infrastructure, tourism, transport, health and education is continuing, in line with the government’s 2030 economic plan.


Abu Dhabi boasts one of the highest per capita incomes and one of the lowest crime rates in the world.


His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.


He was elected on Saturday 14th May 2022 by the decision of their highnesses, the members of the Federal Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates.


Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 is a long-term plan for the transformation of the emirate’s economy. The plan includes a reduced reliance on the oil sector and a greater focus on knowledge-based industries in the future.

Fast facts

Population: 1.45 million out of 9.4 million (UAE)
Language: Arabic (official), English widespread in business
Currency: United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)
Political System: Federal constitutional monarchy

Legal System: Federal Court System based on civil code principles and on the Islamic Sharia law

IA Partner

ADGM is an International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi established on English Common Law.  Underpinned by a robust, progressive and responsive legislative framework, ADGM offers business and financial institutions a trusted and well-regulated environment to access the substantial growth opportunities in UAE, and the wider Middle East, Africa and South Asia region. Click the logo to find out more.

FinTech Hub

A community hub and global tech ecosystem located in ADGM that brings together start-ups and founders, investors, tech companies and business enablers. Click the logo to find out more.

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