Abu Dhabi Free Zone Authority (ADFZA) has announced that banks, insurance, brokerage and trading companies which plan to set up a branch at the Saadiyat free zone will require a minimum paid-up capital of AED 100 million ($27.2 million). The limit for commercial business and service providers has been set at AED 30,000 ($8,174).

Banks will be allowed to accept retail and wholesale deposits from UAE nationals, residents and companies. They will have the opportunity to take part in and fund the interbank market. ‘Licensed banks will have the right to be a member of the Saadiyat stock market and register their shares, ‘ says Mohamed Ali al-Hosani, general manager of ADFZA, the sole regulator and supervisor of the market.

The ADFZA issued in mid-June its Saadiyat operating licences to seven banks and financial institutions (MEED 30:6:00) These included four local banks – National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Union National Bank, First Gulf Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. The three others were Al-Dhafra Insurance, Omeir Travel Agency and Legal, Financial & Business Consulting.