Press Release

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 6th June 2016 to develop the Financial Technology (“FinTech”) eco-system in Abu Dhabi. This MoU follows closely on the recent announcement of ADGM’s proposed Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab), a tailored framework that allows firms deploying innovative technology in the financial services sector (“FinTech participants”) to conduct their activities in a controlled and cost-effective environment. The proposed RegLab is also the first of such initiative in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The new partnership provides a framework for FSRA and NYUAD to harness each other’s expertise and knowledge to build and introduce shared initiatives that strategically support the development and growth of the FinTech ecosystem in ADGM, Abu Dhabi and beyond.

The agreement with NYUAD underpins ADGM’s commitment to work and build strategic partnerships with key industry stakeholders to collaboratively cultivate local entrepreneurship and promote technology development and innovation in financial services. From ADGM, the FSRA team will provide domain knowledge, expertise on matters of FinTech to NYUAD community entrepreneurs interested in FinTech. Among others, FSRA will assist FinTech entrepreneurs and participants on understanding and navigating any commercial or regulatory requirements in relation to their business activities. Through the partnership, NYUAD aims to offer access to entrepreneurship training and skills development to participants that are part of the ADGM’s RegLab platform. NYUAD will also contribute towards the design and organisation of ADGM-FinTech related activities, discussions and engagements. Both parties intend to jointly promote related programs and initiatives through their respective channels and digital platforms.

Richard Teng, CEO, Financial Services Regulatory Authority said, “We are glad to welcome NYU Abu Dhabi as one of our key FinTech partners and every stakeholder plays a critical and unique part towards the realisation of a FinTech Hub in the UAE. The ADGM team has been establishing significant and meaningful milestones which we will be sharing with the community in due course.”

He added, “NYUAD has been a very supportive stakeholder and keen to develop globally-recognised and locally-tailored programmes and initiatives that will support the FinTech community and its participants. We look forward to working closely with NUYAD and more partners to establish a vibrant and enduring Fintech eco-system in Abu Dhabi.”

NYU Abu Dhabi Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ramesh Jagannathan said: "NYUAD is committed to developing a globally competitive, innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Abu Dhabi. In this context, we are thrilled to partner with The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) in pioneering the FinTech ecosystem. The mission of NYUAD IDEA Lab, an entrepreneurship platform focused on democratizing innovations and accelerating startups, is vastly strengthened by ADGM’s innovative Regulatory lab (RegLab) framework. Working together, we will develop FinTech strategies, programs and initiatives that will jump start FinTech startups in the region.”

The FRSA published a consultation paper on 10 May 2016 and is seeking industry views on its proposed FinTech regulatory framework including the “Regulatory Laboratory” initiative. In this proposed initiative, FinTech participants enjoy a two-year period to develop, test and launch their products and services in a controlled environment. The proposal supports FSRA’s objective in developing a stable and sustainable financial services sector in Abu Dhabi, while fostering innovation within scoped parameters buffered by risk-proportionate regulatory safeguards. The consultation period ends on 13 June 2016.

About NYU Abu Dhabi
NYU Abu Dhabi consists of a highly selective liberal arts and science college (including engineering), and a world center for advanced research and scholarship — all fully integrated with each other and connected to NYU in New York. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global network university, with faculty and students from each campus spending "semesters away" at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.

About NYU Abu Dhabi IDEA Lab
The IDEA Lab at New York University Abu Dhabi is a campus wide innovation and entrepreneurship program with a mission to enable and accelerate the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UAE. We aim to provide NYUAD students and community members with the necessary support, entrepreneurship education and resources to develop necessary skills, refine ideas and produce an end product or service with scalable growth and impact. We execute our mandate in several different ways by working with and supporting aspiring entrepreneurs as well as engaging public and partner organizations with our community based programs.

About Abu Dhabi Global Market
Abu Dhabi Global Market (“ADGM”), an international financial centre in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, was established by Federal Decree in 2013 and opened for business on 21st October 2015.

In line with the Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision, ADGM is a natural extension of Abu Dhabi’s role as a reliable and responsible member of the global financial community. Strategically situated in the heart of one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, ADGM plays a pivotal role in positioning Abu Dhabi as a global centre for business and finance that connects with the growing economies of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

ADGM’s three independent authorities, the Registration Authority, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority and ADGM Courts, enable registered companies to conduct business in a zero-percent tax environment and operate with confidence within an international regulatory framework with its own independent judicial system and legislative infrastructure based on Common Law.

Established as a broad based financial centre, ADGM’s foundation is anchored on three of Abu Dhabi’s current strategic strengths - private banking, wealth management and asset management and will continually expand its financial services in response to the needs of its businesses and marketplace.
Abu Dhabi Global Market is located on Al Maryah Island, a 114-hectare development that is home to world-class business and lifestyle facilities such as the Rosewood and Four Seasons Hotels and Residences, the first ever specialty Cleveland Clinic Hospital outside of USA, luxury retail at the Galleria Mall, grade-A offices spaces to meet Abu Dhabi’s long-term development and economic needs. All these complement ADGM’s international financial centre position as a vibrant destination in the capital city in Abu Dhabi.