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Dubai FinTech Summit showcases UAE’s rise as global financial powerhouse

Dubai FinTech Summit showcases UAE’s rise as global financial powerhouse
7 May 2024 09:04

Mays Ibrahim (DUBAI)

The bustling metropolis of Dubai has emerged as a global fintech hub, driving “unprecedented” growth in the financial services sector through a potent mix of innovation, ambition, and strategic vision, said His Excellency Essa Kazim, the Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Chairman of Borse Dubai, Deputy Chairman of Supreme Legislation Committee in Dubai, and a member in Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee.

His remarks were made during the Dubai FinTech Summit, which kicked off on Monday at Madinat Jumeirah under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and President of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Kazim cited data indicating that Dubai has witnessed a surge in fintech investment in recent years, with total fintech funding reaching $2.3 billion in 2023.

This figure reaffirms investor confidence in Dubai’s fintech ecosystem, he said, noting that the Emirate’s strategic location offers fintech firms “unparalleled” access to a market of over 3 billion people and a combined GDP exceeding $12 trillion.

Kazim further highlighted the ambitious vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into one of the world’s leading global financial hubs.

“This vision has remained the cornerstone of DIFC’s sustained performance over the past 20 years. We saw unprecedented growth in 2023, with fintech and innovation as the fastest-growing sector, with 902 registered companies, a 31 per cent increase from the previous year,” he said.

‘Robust Investor Appetite for Fintech Innovation’

The global fintech sector is experiencing remarkable growth, driven by rapid technological advancements and a strong focus on financial inclusion, according to Kazim.

He noted that investment in fintech firms surpassed $100 billion in 2023, marking a 50% increase from the previous year, which highlights “the robust investor appetite for fintech innovation”.

Kazim also referenced data from Facebook, which showed that there are now over 100 fintech unicorns worldwide, with a combined valuation exceeding $500 billion.

“One of the most notable trends defining the current state of fintech industry is the convergence of finance and technology. Traditional financial institutions are embracing technological innovations such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics to streamline operations, enhance customer experiences, and mitigate risk,” he added.

The rise of digital payments and mobile banking has made financial services more accessible and secure, according to Kazim.

“From peer-to-peer lending platforms to digital wallets and robo-advisors, fintech firms are reshaping the financial ecosystem, challenging incumbents, and fostering a culture of innovation”.

Kazim pointed out that the global digital payments market is projected to hit a staggering $10 trillion in transaction value by 2025, fuelled by the widespread adoption of mobile wallets, contactless payments, and the growing popularity of digital currencies.

Largest Fintech Gathering in Region

The first edition of the Dubai Fintech Summit gathered over 5,000 C-suite leaders from 90 countries, facilitating the signing of 20 agreements with global financial leaders, according to Kazim. He noted that this year, the summit has nearly doubled in size, promising engaging dialogue among leading regulators, bankers, and fintech innovators to collectively shape the future of finance.

The event will feature insights from experts to prepare for the future of finance, alongside 200 companies showcasing cutting-edge technologies driving global financial transformation.

“As we navigate the complexities of our increasingly interconnected world, it is essential to embrace collaboration, foster an inclusive ecosystem, and harness the power of technology to create a more prosperous and equitable future for all,” Kazim said.

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