Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region, has revealed the second edition of the Dubai FinTech Summit will take place between 6 and 7 May 2024.
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), the first edition of the fintech summit concluded with resounding success, boasting a remarkable turnout of 5,300 visitors from over 90 countries.
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, e-commerce websites, and contactless payments.
The summit’s co-host sponsor, Visa, also revealed that four in five consumers surveyed in the UAE would switch merchants based on the payment methods offered, with most preferring digital payments over cash.
Mohammad Alblooshi, CEO of DIFC Innovation Hub, discussed the success of the inaugural fintech summit and plans for the second edition next year.
Alblooshi said: “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 as well as 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,” he added.
‘It’s been reform, invest, and transform’
Dubai FinTech Summit 2023 saw over 20 memorandum of understandings (MoUs) signed with global financial leaders. During the summit alone, DIFC signed 12 MoUs 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.
Showcasing the significant growth and potential of the fintech sector in the region, Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of leading crypto solutions provider Ripple, announced the company’s plans to expand into the region. With 20 per cent of its customers being MENA-based, Ripple plans to leverage the city’s forward-thinking regulatory framework and ecosystem to open its first regional hub in Dubai at DIFC.
Jenny Johnson, CEO of asset management firm Franklin Templeton, also shared insight into the increasing accessibility to smarter technologies.
Johnson said: “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 customisation in ways traditional banks could never achieve”.
She also discussed the UAE’s vision for economic diversification: “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 also successful for generations to come”.