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New Abu Dhabi Free Zone Drafts First Laws

by Lorys Charalambous, Lowtax.net, Cyprus
12 January, 2015

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), a new international financial center in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced on January 7, 2015, that it had published draft legislation for open market consultation.

ADGM aims to become a broad-based financial services center, which will focus on asset management, private banking, and wealth management during the first phase of its establishment. It will provide firms with a number of benefits, including exemption from taxes guaranteed for 50 years; relaxed rules on the repatriation of profits; and an allowance for 100 percent foreign ownership.

The free zone is seeking comment on legislation on companies, insolvency, and employment, and on operating regulations and property and strata regulations. The legislation has already been subject to a pre-open market consultation, during which the opinions of 16 major international financial institutions and industry bodies were sought.

Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman of the ADGM, said: "A robust legal system based on a legislative framework that meets international financial services standards is at the core of Abu Dhabi Global Market's value proposition. In order to ensure we provide this, the legislation has been drafted with advice and input from major international financial institutions and industry bodies in the UAE and major capital markets around the world. We look forward to receiving comments and input from the public before enacting this legislation and receiving our first licence applications later this year."

Al Sayegh added: "As we ramp up our preparations, we will continue our collaboration and consultation approach which we believe is crucial given the many changes the global financial services sector is experiencing. ADGM will provide a robust regulatory framework designed to support a dynamic and competitive international financial center that is both risk-focused and responsive to changing market needs and requirements."

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