On the calendar

Abu Dhabi Finance Week 2022

Abu Dhabi Finance Week 2022, held at Abu Dhabi Global Market, boasted 50 ecosystem partners and more than 100 start-ups.

Abu Dhabi Finance Week has wrapped up, having run from November 14-18. Held at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an ambitious international financial center and free zone located in Abu Dhabi, the event is the latest signal from Abu Dhabi of its intentions so grow as a global financial center.

Held in collaboration with the Department of Economic Development and G42, Abu Dhabi Finance Week showcased the financial ecosystem in the city, as well as the trends and main efforts to diversify the wider economy. On the table at various discussions were fintech and innovation, the start-ups and SMEs ecosystem, and issues surrounding venture funding, foreign and local investment, asset management, capital markets, economic policy, and regulations.

Over the week, entrepreneurs, financial regulators, and international visitors attended speeches, panels, and exhibitions, a far cry from the heady days of the pandemic when the UAE’s usually thriving MICE sector ground to a halt. At the opening ceremony, HE Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of ADGM, stated that, “The first edition of Abu Dhabi Finance Week is a true ‘one Abu Dhabi project,’ the result of our leadership’s vision and the unified efforts by Abu Dhabi entities working toward a single goal: to accelerate progress and support our economic agenda by harnessing exciting opportunities presented to us in the transformational phase of the economy.”

Several headline topics formed the outline of discussions, the first one being “Asset Abu Dhabi,” featuring speakers from Bank of America, J.P Morgan, Investcorp, Goldman Sachs, Chimera, and Blackrock, who discussed the disruption of capital markets, the global economic status quo, and sociopolitical trends. The second topic, “Fintech Abu Dhabi,” analyzed the potential of Web3 and the decentralized future of content in the metaverse, with figures from regulators from Europe, America, and Asia discussing the pace of related legislation and issues of cybersecurity.

“Crypto Abu Dhabi” was the third topic, and, at a key moment for cryptocurrencies worldwide, explored the next era of digital assets with an in-depth look at the latest developments in blockchain tech, trading, cryptocurrency, NFTs, and tokenization. This was also accompanied by the announcement of the launch of the Abu Dhabi Crypto Hub by ADGM, an R&D center for all things crypto.

Later on, the R.A.C.E Sustainability Summit brought together leaders from different sectors to discuss the building of sustainable capital markets, as well as the importance of data analysis and cloud computing, while outlining expectations for COP28, which is due to be hosted in the UAE next year. Finally, the start-up campus, powered by Hub71, eagerly hosted 100+ budding start-ups and global unicorns.

During the week, The Business Year sat down with a range of foreign entrepreneurs and investors that are setting up their business in the city under the Access Abu Dhabi program. Patrice Evra, a former professional football player, stressed; “What I love about Abu Dhabi is that they listen to you, and they welcome you. Let’s be clear; it is the capital of business given all their regulations. It is like a partnership, a win-win for all. Here they understand the value of mental health and equality of gender, and those are also aligned with my own values.” In another interview, Metta Sandiford-Artest, previously known as Metta World Peace, a former NBA player and founder or Arnest Management Group, agreed, telling us that; “It is the reason why I am here today since it is the moment to get involved in the UAE. With XvsX Sports, I had the opportunity to come here and set the tone for what the sports industry is going to be in the future, and we want to be at the forefront of that and in Abu Dhabi it is a reality.”

ADGM hopes that Abu Dhabi Finance Week 2022 will be the latest milestone on its mission to grow its influence in global financial circles.