The first edition of Dubai FinTech Summit has concluded with resounding success and a remarkable turnout of 5,300 visitors from 92 countries, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance of the UAE, and President of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
As the population transitions from cash to digital payment methods, the inaugural Dubai FinTech Summit highlighted the importance of accelerated investment in digital banking services, eCommerce websites, and contactless payments.
DIFC, the leading global financial center in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region, has announced the second edition of the Dubai FinTech Summit to be held on 6 to 7 May 2024. The second edition promises greater impact, shaping the future of FinTech in the region.
“It’s been incredible to witness the Dubai FinTech Summit succeed in becoming a powerful platform for showcasing innovation, developing meaningful dialogue around the issues and challenges facing our industry, and creating engagement on the future of FinTech, all in its maiden edition. We have marked a significant milestone for FinTech in the region, as Dubai emerges as a leading hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With the industry growing at an unprecedented pace, the 2024 Dubai FinTech Summit will provide an invaluable platform for industry leaders and experts to come together, discuss opportunities, and draw the blueprint that will continue to guide the future of finance.”
Dubai FinTech Summit as platform for collaboration
Dubai FinTech Summit 2023 saw over 20 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) signed with global financial leaders, with DIFC signing 12 MoUs during the Summit alone, with global powerhouses of finance and technology, including Standard Chartered Bank, due to launch digital asset custody services (subject to regulatory approval) to cater to institutional clients globally.
Growth and expansion of FinTech firms
Showcasing the significant growth and potential of the FinTech sector in the region, Mr. Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, a leading crypto solutions provider, announced the company’s plans to expand into the region. With 20 percent of its customers being MENA-based, Ripple is choosing to leverage the city’s forward-thinking regulatory framework and ecosystem to open its first regional hub in Dubai at DIFC.
Global crypto exchange, Coinbase, also announced exciting expansion plans, with CEO Mr. Brian Armstrong stating the company’s intent to explore the UAE as a prospective hub for its operations in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Sharing insights on the increasing accessibility to smarter technologies, Ms. Jenny Johnson, CEO of Franklin Templeton, a global leader in asset management, said that, “AI is playing a big role in dynamically switching up investment portfolios and banking, (enabling) the ability to enhance tasks such as tax efficiency and delivering customization in ways traditional banks could never achieve.”
Commenting on the UAE’s vision for economic diversification Ms. Johnson added that, “It’s been reform, invest, and transform. We have seen reform achieve two things. First, it has attracted human capital and talent. The second is the reforms around capital requirements for foreign ownership. One of the things I appreciate about this region is its generational thinking. It is about how you are diversifying economies to ensure that you are successful for generations to come.”
Changes in interest rates
Mr. Piyush Gupta, Group CEO of DBS Bank, said, “Four to five percent interest rate environments have not been unusual. The big difference this time around is not the rate of interest, but the pace of change. Normally, the Federal Reserve System (FED) tends to take a couple of years − two to two and a half years to slowly work its way up. This time, a lot of people argued that the FED was behind the curve, and as a consequence, they have to react much more quickly.”
The event was supported by finance and technology company, VISA as co-host sponsor, e& as headline sponsor, Geidea joining as the presenting sponsor, Finvasia, Emirates NBD, and Paxos as lead sponsors, BLUE, Standard Chartered Bank, Ripple and Fasset as Platinum Sponsors, atPay, Dubai Financial Market and Commercial Bank of Dubai as Gold Sponsors and Huawei as the Lead Cloud Sponsor.