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Abu Dhabi Free Zone Offering Bespoke Rules For New FinTech

by Lorys Charalambous, Lowtax.net, Cyprus
02 November, 2016

Abu Dhabi Global Market, a free trade zone in Abu Dhabi, has launched its RegLab initiative to support financial technology companies.

This follows ADGM's announcement in March 2016 of its intention to develop Abu Dhabi as a FinTech hub in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

ADGM's Reglab is a tailored regulatory regime for FinTech participants. It is designed to foster innovation within the United Arab Emirates financial services market for both new market entrants and existing financial institutions.

By taking into account the unique business model and risks of the Fintech participant, ADGM intends to offer a bespoke regulatory environment for companies, enabling a participant to develop and test its FinTech proposition in a safe environment while not putting undue regulatory burden on the participant.

ADGM's RegLab will authorize FinTech participants for a period of up to two years to develop and test their FinTech proposition.

Applications are now being accepted until January 31, 2017.

Richard Teng, CEO of the ADGM's Financial Services Regulatory Authority, said: "We are very excited to launch the ADGM RegLab and it is encouraging that interest has been pouring in since we announced our plans. ADGM's commitment to and pursuit of innovation has always been part of its DNA and culture as an international financial center serving the business and financial aspirations of Abu Dhabi and the MENA region."

The ADGM offers firms a number of benefits, including exemption from taxes guaranteed for 50 years, and relaxed rules on the repatriation of profits. The zone permits 100 percent foreign ownership.

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