Abu Dhabi has appointed a chairman and board of directors for its planned financial free zone, an integral step towards Global Marketplace Abu Dhabi becoming a reality.
Ahmed Ali Mohamed Al Sayegh was yesterday named the chairman of Global Marketplace Abu Dhabi (GMAD), following a decree by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
Mr Al Sayegh already holds a clutch of senior roles at Abu Dhabi companies, including chief executive of Dolphin Energy, chairman of Masdar and deputy chairman of Abu Dhabi Media, the parent company of The National.
The decree, announced by the Executive Council, also named several other experienced Abu Dhabi lieutenants on the board of directors.
They include Mohammed Darwish Mohamed Al Khouri, who serves on the board of directors of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and is the executive director of internal equities at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority; Ali Majid Mubarak Al Mansouri, the chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports Authority; Ibrahim Obeid Al Zaabi, the deputy chief executive for issuance and legal affairs of Securities & Commodities Authority; and Mohammad Najm Al Qubaisi, a director at the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi.
The board will be responsible for drafting laws and appointing a management and administrative team at GMAD, according to the Executive Council.
The board is appointed for a five-year term, subject to renewal.
The development is the latest step since Abu Dhabi announced a decree earlier this year to create a world-class financial zone at Al Maryah Island.
Lawyers say the board of directors will hold a crucial role in the oversight of GMAD.
"The board of directors will have extensive powers with respect to the management and governance of the Global Market including the power to issue the Global Market's rules and regulations," wrote lawyers at Allen & Overy, which has acted as the sole legal counsel, advising on all aspects of GMAD, in a report released this month.
Beneath the board will sit three independent bodies, according to Allen & Overy.
They include the registrar, known as the Global Markets Registration Bureau, responsible for registering and licensing of companies; the regulator, to be called the Financial Services Regulations Bureau, to regulate financial services; and the Global Markets Courts, which will include the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal.
Each of the authorities will exercise power independently.
The zone will be exempt from UAE federal and Abu Dhabi civil and commercial laws.