More than 70% of companies in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) plan to expand their workforces in 2024, according to a new survey.

With 1,825 operational entities in the market as of 2023, new job opportunities could number well into the hundreds or thousands. Out of the firms who said they were expecting to expand their workforce, accounting for 70.81% of the financial centre, 29.93% expect significant increases and 40.88% are planning moderate growth in staffing.

The survey, conducted by the financial centre itself, was sent to the senior management of the firms registered with the ADGM. It revealed that 18.56% of respondents recognise the significant growth potential of asset management in the financial centre. Respondents also said they also saw significant growth in fintech and the fields of digital assets, blockchain, and distributed ledger technology (DLT).

ADGM is the financial free zone of Abu Dhabi, governing Al Maryah Island, as well as Reem Island following expansion in May 2023.

When asked what made the centre competitive, 21.35% said the robust regulatory environment, 19.66% said strategic location, 17.04% said quality of life in Abu Dhabi and 14.98% said the diverse community.

The availability of a skilled workforce was cited by 11.24% of respondents.

Recent announcements of multinationals opening or expanding their presence there include Standard Chartered’s SC Ventures, which announced its ADGM office in January, while investment bank Morgan Stanley opened its office there, its fourth in the region, last month.

Abu Dhabi developer Aldar also announced AED 5 billion ($1.361 billion) of developments, including a new Grade A commercial tower for Al Maryah Island, last month.

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)