Initially announced in March, the office will be Aberdeen’s first base in the Middle East and will be headed up by Andrew Paul, who has been appointed as senior executive officer.
Paul will work alongside senior business development manager, Lucy Draper, with the pair reporting into the company’s head of Middle East & Africa, Nigel Norman based in London. Both Paul and Draper have relocated from Aberdeen’s London office.
The company, which manages $402bn (£323bn, €373bn) of assets worldwide, described the new office as the “natural next step” after being active in the region for over 20 years.
A spokesperson for Aberdeen said the firm had chosen ADGM instead of Dubai’s more established international financial hub, explaining it was a “tough call” but “we felt Abu Dhabi was the more appropriate location”.
It comes just weeks after Pictet Asset Management opened a new office in Dubai’s International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Aberdeen said it expects high demand in the region for its direct property, Islamic equities, multi asset income, Indian bonds and emerging market debt products.
It also has experience in managing Sharia-compliant portfolios.
Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen, said: “The Middle East has been an important market for Aberdeen for many years and the establishment of a local office is the natural next step for us.
“We already enjoy a good relationship with a number of clients in the region and we believe the economic fundamentals of the region will create opportunities for asset managers over the coming years.”
Last month, ADGM said it has registered and licensed close to 160 companies from a broad range of industries and sectors since it opened in October last year.