Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) appoints U.S. representatives to support businesses expanding into the Middle East and North Africa

23 Mar 2021 | General


16 March 2021,


Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) appoints U.S. representatives to support businesses expanding into the Middle East and North Africa




Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the award-winning international financial center (IFC), is excited to announce its partnership with OCO Global, a global trade and investment advisory firm with offices in New York and California, to provide in-market support to American businesses looking to access the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market.

ADGM is a broad-based financial center located in the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi, that caters to a wide spectrum of industry sectors and company sizes, from startups to global institutions across the banking, asset management and capital markets industries. ADGM launched the first regulatory sandbox in the MENA region, the Digital Lab, and is home to more than 250 global professional services providers, offering local advice on legal, tax and other business matters U.S. firms may face when operating in the UAE. In addition to providing a suitable regulatory framework, ADGM ensures a holistic ecosystem based on English common law, enabling 100% foreign ownership of registered entities, a highly tax friendly environment and its own independent judicial system.

Despite the pandemic, 2020 was still a strong growth year for ADGM. The IFC recently welcomed Citco to its quarters following an increase of 400% in the financial services provider’s assets under administration (AUA) in the region last year to approximately $125 billion.

As the fastest growing international financial center in the MENA region, ADGM is quickly becoming the preferred regional destination for firms such as Citi Group, JP Morgan and the Carlyle Group, to serve the UAE and penetrate the emerging markets of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MENASA).

Ranked as the most developed technology base in the Middle East by the IMD Smart City Index, Abu Dhabi provides the gateway and infrastructure to access one third of the world’s population. Its economy is expected to expand by 6% to 8% over the next two years.

“ADGM’s success is built on its approach of working closely with the industry to understand what the risks are and crafting a regulatory framework that supports innovation and is fit-for-purpose.” said Juma Al Hameli, Senior Executive Director of Strategy and Business Development at ADGM. “This smart regulation approach enables companies of all sizes, from start-ups to established corporations, to expand their product offerings into the MENA region in a stable and progressive environment.”

Initiatives such as the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Declaration and collaborative programs with the U.S. Embassy on key social issues such as gender equality and entrepreneurship reflect ADGM’s commitment to supporting U.S. businesses’ activities in the region across industries such as financial services, artificial intelligence, aerospace, education, healthcare and mobility.

Al Hameli added: “More firms are recognizing the need for an on-the-ground presence closer to their customers in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia that are already difficult to service from the U.S. due to significant travel times and time-zone differences.”

“Abu Dhabi was quick to introduce a series of robust measures that aimed to lessen the impacts of COVID-19 on its economy, including launching a 15-point stimulus package, as well as a restructuring of the nation’s ministerial framework to facilitate the UAE’s shift to a flexible economic model. These measures only further reaffirm Abu Dhabi’s attractiveness as an investment capital and the emirate’s readiness to withstand global economic headwinds.”

Supporting ADGM in the U.S. is international consulting firm OCO Global, whose U.S. network includes offices in New York and Los Angeles.  OCO Global provides specialist services in trade and investment to economic development organizations and firms globally.

Gareth Hagan, Deputy CEO of OCO Global, added: “The Middle East has made huge strides in providing exemplary conditions to support the growth of start-ups and established firms alike, across infrastructure, skills and industry expertise. As a world-renowned business expansion platform, ADGM serves as a springboard for U.S. firms to tap into the MENA market. Core to Abu Dhabi’s success is its diversified, sustainable economy within the UAE, which is cross-sector, business-friendly, English speaking and provides long-term visa status as well as 100% foreign ownership outside of free zones”.

“We are excited to work with OCO Global as our representatives in the U.S. as a sign of our commitment to supporting U.S. investors looking to expand their presence across the Middle East” said Juma Al Hameli, Senior Executive Director of Strategy and Business Development at ADGM. “We look forward to helping new firms join our growing business community, expand their network and help them realize their full growth potential in the region.”


Notes to Editor

About Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre (IFC) located in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, opened for business on 21 October 2015. Established by a UAE Federal Decree as a broad-based financial centre, ADGM augments Abu Dhabi’s position as a global trade and business hub serving as a strategic link between the growing economies of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and the rest of the world.

ADGM’s strategy is anchored by Abu Dhabi’s key strengths spanning over private banking, wealth management, asset management, derivatives and commodities trading, financial innovation, sustainability and more. Comprising three independent authorities: ADGM Courts, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority and the Registration Authority, ADGM as an IFC governs the entire 114 hectares (1.14sqkm) of Al Maryah Island which is a designated financial free zone.

It enables registered financial and non-financial institutions, companies and entities to operate, innovate and succeed within an international regulatory framework based on common law. Since its inception, ADGM has been awarded the “Financial Centre of the Year (MENA)” for four consecutive years for its initiatives and contributions to the financial and capital markets industry in the region.*

For more details on ADGM, please visit www.adgm.com or follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @adglobalmarket and LinkedIn: @Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

* Source: The Global Investor Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Awards


About OCO Global

OCO Global is a leading specialist provider of trade and investment services.  Headquartered in Northern Ireland, OCO Global has offices in the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Japan, UAE, China and the U.S.

OCO Global’s clients including leading national, state and regional economic development organizations such as the UK Department For International Trade (DIT), Tunisia Export (CEPEX), Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA), Enterprise Florida and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), as well as private companies EY, PWC, Siemens, Smiley Monroe and Santander.

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For more information contact:

Paula Fitzgerald, Senior Representative for ADGM, U.S.