Global fintech innovation showcase opens in Dubai
Dubai, UAE; 26 February 2018: More than 400 leaders in the industry of fintech have gathered in Dubai today to showcase innovation in their sector, highlighting the future of fintech for the global and regional markets.
Held in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Finance, and showing off the latest products in action as well as boosting the UAE as an international hub for fintech, FinovateMiddleEast opened today (26 February) and runs for two days at the Madinat Jumeirah Conference Centre.
H.E. Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, UAE Minister of Finance underlined the Ministry's commitment to the government's vision to reduce the use of oil and move towards an economy of knowledge, based on innovation and creativity, for example by maximising the use of Blockchain technology.
He said: “The Ministry of Finance continues to support and encourage innovation, and provide the right environment in which it can flourish. Our efforts sit within the framework of the national innovation strategy, contributing to the UAE Vision 2021. We support the efforts to see the UAE government recognised as the world's most innovative and we continue to nurture innovation by adopting innovative business mechanisms and funding innovators in various fields.”
The event has brought together early-stage start-ups, leading established companies, media, financial service institutions and funders drawn by the opportunity to see the future of fintech both regionally and globally.
Heather Stowell, Vice President of Finovate, a company with a large portfolio of events spanning across the globe, said. “We are really excited about bringing together start-ups, leading established companies, media, financial service institutions and funders to discuss the future of fintech.
“The UAE Ministry of Finance is exploring how the region is leading the way in innovation and smart technology and providing their perspective on the future of fintech globally.”
The event's congress brings the biggest and best global names in fintech to Dubai from countries such as Australia, China, India, Malaysia, UAE, UK and beyond.
Keynote speakers over the two days include: Ruth Wandhofer, MD, Global Head Regulatory and Market Strategy, Citi; Mike Cunningham, CEO, Clearly; Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision, DFSA; and Sameer Singh Jaini, Fintech Asia top 100 influencer and CEO, Digital Fifth.
Paul Schulte, Founder of Schulte Research and a speaker at the event said: “Blockchain will change the way we understand companies, nation states and the current financial arrangement. Those incumbents who do not aggressively change will be mowed over by innovative centres in places like Shenzhen, Seoul, UAE and Singapore. Be aware.”
Other experts delivering sessions are: Jim Marous, Author and Publisher, The Financial Brand and the Digital Banking Report; Mark Hewlett, Head of Commodities, Ebury; Zhi Ying Ng, Senior Analyst, Forrester; Devie Mohan, CEO, Burnmark; Farrukh Habib, Researcher, International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA); and Steve Naude, Head ME and Africa, TransferWise.
Exploring three principal areas in fintech including financial inclusion, emerging technologies (application of AI and Blockchain technology) and how banks and fintechs can work better together, the event will focus on how the UAE is transforming from an oil-dependent economy to one led by fintech.
Other prominent topics throughout the two days include a case study on an interbank Blockchain pilot featuring India and the UAE, how to reap the benefits from the changing environment in banking, how Malaysia is building a cryptocurrency and how banks and fintechs are working together in India.
Widely recognised as a landmark year for investing in financial technology in the Middle East, 2017 paved the way for more investment opportunities, acquisitions and partnerships over the next 12 months.
The leading financial centre for the MEASA and one of the world's top 10 FinTech hubs, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), was out in full force to showcase their initiative to support and cultivate financial tech in the Middle East.
Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive Vice President, FinTech Hive at DIFC, said: “FinTech Hive at DIFC, the first FinTech accelerator in the region, is one of the initiatives for incubating and accelerating these ideas. We are proud to be a platform for start-ups and entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas to thrive alongside the community of established financial services, insurance and professional services firms.”
Prominent companies such as EbankIT, munnypot, Dorsum, New Bridge, efigence, Ondot, RISQ, Wealth Migrate and ZagTrader are set to showcase and demonstrating their latest tech and products to delegates on the show floor.
Additionally, FinovateMiddleEast's signature 7-minute demos are a core feature of the show with start-ups and established companies delivering live demonstrations of their latest fintech innovations.
With over 40 marketing sponsors, FinovateMiddleEast is supported by strategic partner: the UAE Ministry of Finance; platinum sponsor: UAE Exchange; silver sponsor: Temenos; and bronze sponsors Loxon Solutions, Ortec Finance and Plug & Play.
Finovate has established itself as the leading showcase for fintech innovation around the world, with five locations – New York, Silicon Valley, London, Hong Kong and Dubai.