The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and FinTech Consortium (FTC) have launched Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB), the “largest dedicated fintech hub in the Middle East and Africa”, Banking Technology has reported.
The new hub aims to further the development and acceleration of firms as well as the interaction between investors, entrepreneurs, government bodies and financial institutions.
Scheduled to open in February 2018, it will comprise co-working spaces, communal areas, workstations, hot desks, and a variety of other shared infrastructure.
With an area of over 10,000 square feet of usable space, BFB is located in the Arcapita building in Manama.
EDB chief executive Khalid Al Rumaihi, said, “We are very excited about the opportunities that Fintech presents in the region and in Bahrain’s ability to serve as a hub for innovation in this sector. We know that in order to realise these opportunities, it is vital to get the right ecosystem, including ensuring a supportive regulatory environment and infrastructure is in place.”
FTC, who already runs hubs in New York and Singapore, will be the operator and ecosystem builder of BFB, and will “apply physical and digital solutions” to manage the hub, as well as integrate BFB into its platforms across blockchain, insurtech and regtech.
In March, Bahrain began working with Singapore Fintech Consortium branch and Dubai-based asset management firm Trucial Investment Partners for the development plans.
The move comes as Bahrain is seeking to make its mark in the Fintech space.
In August, the Central Bank of Bahrain welcomed the first members to its new regulatory sandbox – mobile banking firm Now Money and finserv provider Tramonex.