ADGM remains a key enabler of Abu Dhabi’s startup ecosystem

ADGM remains a key enabler of Abu Dhabi’s startup ecosystem 

Vishal Sacheendran, Manager (Capital Markets Authorisation), Miriam Kiwan (Head of Strategic Partnerships), and Abdulla Al Mheiri (Market Development) at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) shed light on its contributions to Abu Dhabi’s thriving business ecosystem.

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Abu Dhabi’s international financial centre and free zone, has been instrumental to the emirate’s innovation efforts in the field of finance. Home to many groundbreaking startups and SMEs, and responsible for many of the regulations that ensure a business-conductive environment, ADGM continues to play a major role in Abu Dhabi’s success story. 

Three ADGM heads, Vishal Sacheendran, Manager - Capital Markets Authorisation, Miriam Kiwan, Head of Strategic Partnerships, and Abdulla Al Mheiri, Market Development, share some insights with the Abu Dhabi SME Hub regarding the financial centre’s contributions to the emirate, as well as the overall state of the local ecosystem.

Where does the AD Startup/SME ecosystem stand today? 

In less than three years, Abu Dhabi’s tech ecosystem has established itself as a leading tech hub in the MEASA region, offering unparalleled opportunities for tech startups to launch and scale regionally and globally from Abu Dhabi.

ADGM will continue to collaborate with the business community, regulators and strategic partners to improve ease of doing business while serving the needs of its community. 

How are you contributing to the local startup/SME ecosystem growth? How do you see this evolving over the next year?

As a key enabler, ADGM is supporting the growth of innovators and tech founders by providing a unique business environment and regulatory infrastructure that bring together startups, investors and other ecosystem developers under one holistic tech ecosystem. 

As an emerging ecosystem, ADGM together with other Abu Dhabi entities continues to close the remaining gaps that will allow founders to accelerate their expansion both locally and internationally:

  • solving the complexities around setting up, to support start-ups in their initial launch or expansion to the region;
  • expanding funding solutions to help startups scale, go public or exit through other alternative routes;
  • engage the private sector through corporate innovation programs to boost innovation and access to market.

What opportunities should entrepreneurs pay attention to in Abu Dhabi? What kind of business growth opportunities are you encouraging or expect will be developing in the coming years?

Abu Dhabi offers a real opportunity for startups that are seriously considering the MENA region as a strategic location as part of their global growth. With over 300 million consumers in the MENA region, and one of the highest GDP per capita in the GCC, Abu Dhabi is a strategic location for global startups looking to have access to a large addressable market in the MEASA region and beyond.

Abu Dhabi is uniquely positioned to support the growth of innovative tech startups by providing access to an end to end ecosystem support system. Through collective efforts of key government and ecosystem enablers such as ADGM, Hub71, ADIO, ADQ, tech startups can have direct access to funding, market and talent in one location. 

Whether a startup is looking to test a fintech idea through ADGM’s leading reglab/sandbox, raise funds or accelerate their growth through our global accelerator programs, ADGM and Abu Dhabi is the ideal catalyst for tech founders with global aspirations.


Learn more about the diverse initiatives supporting SMEs in Abu Dhabi by exploring the Hub’s Interactive Ecosystem Map or by downloading the full Ecosystem Map Out Report.

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