UAE Launches New Financial Free Zone in Abu Dhabi

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The federal government of the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) has issued legislation establishing a new financial free zone in Abu Dhabi. The name of the new free zone, “Global Marketplace Abu Dhabi” (“GMAD”), serves as a statement of Abu Dhabi’s ambition for this new free zone to act as a hub for financial services.

GMAD will be based on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi but will be subject to a new regulatory framework and judicial system separate to that otherwise applicable in the UAE, a move that has led to widespread comparisons with the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”) and other financial free zones in the Gulf.

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