Over than 400 leaders in the industry of fintech have gathered in Dubai to discuss the latest innovations and 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 on 26th February and runs for two days at the Madinat Jumeirah Conference Centre.
Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, 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.
“The Ministry of Finance continues to support and encourage innovation, and provide the right environment in which it can flourish,” Al Tayer said. “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, “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, highlighted how 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.”
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.
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.
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.