ADGM launches more initiatives to cushion impact of Covid-19

These measures follow an earlier set of incentives, including rent deferrals and service charge waivers

FG81FD View of new business district at Abu Dhabi Global Market square (ADGM) on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates. Alamy
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Abu Dhabi Global Market launched more initiatives, including additional fee waivers, to help business operating within the financial free zone to cope with the impact of Covid-19.

The new incentives, revealed on Wednesday, include a 50 per cent reduction on fees associated with the incorporation of new ADGM companies and limited liability partnerships (including branches), until December 31 this year.

The fee waivers will be applicable to financial, non-financial and retail licences, excluding special purpose vehicles, ADGM foundations, venture capital firms, tech start-up applicants, accelerators, incubators and professional associations.

Those companies wishing to move into ADGM from a foreign jurisdiction will receive a reduction of 100 per cent on the continuation fee, the financial free zone said.

ADGM’s move comes as regulators and governments around the world roll-out stimulus measures to ease the economic pain from the pandemic.

Earlier this month, the Abu Dhabi-based free zone unveiled its first set of incentives, which include the postponement of rental payments and service charges for office tenants within ADGM Square for 2020. They also include 100 per cent fee waivers on the renewal of commercial licences, business activity and data protection documents until March 25, 2021.

The free zone also provided full waivers of fees on the issuance and renewal of temporary work permits.

Another new measure has seen ADGM extend the deadline for companies and limited liability partnerships to file annual accounts. The usual deadline of nine months can be extended by a further three months, if a company can prove its ability to do so is hindered.

“As such, the ADGM Registration Authority has introduced these measures to ensure that potential ADGM entities receive sufficient support in establishing their operations in our community,” Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, chief executive of the ADGM Registration Authority, said.

“We will continue to provide our new and existing entities with the necessary guidance and assistance to establish their operations and continue to grow amid the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Free zones in the UAE, including ADGM's counterpart in Dubai, have announced a slew of measures including fee waivers and rent deferrals to ease the economic and administrative strain as Covid-19 crisis takes a toll.

The Dubai International Financial Centre also rolled out a relief package  earlier this month.

The free zone said that new firms coming into the DIFC will pay only half the application fee for the remainder of 2020 and will be given more time to complete the application and authorisation processes. New domestic funds will receive a waiver of registration fees in 2020 as part of the package.