Maktoum bin Mohammed opens inaugural Dubai FinTech Summit

08 May 2023

H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE and President of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), today opened the inaugural Dubai FinTech Summit. The two-day Summit is hosted by DIFC, the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.

The two-day event being held at the Madinat Jumeirah from 8 – 9 May, themed ‘New Global Home to the Future of FinTech and Finance’, features 5,000 global industry leaders including global policy makers, C-suite executives, entrepreneurs, investors and delegates. The Summit has brought together over 100 exhibitors, 120 speakers and delegates representing over 50 countries.

H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “The participation of international industry leaders and top talent from across the world in the Summit demonstrates Dubai’s role as a major driver of innovation and next-generation technologies in the region’s financial sector. With Dubai providing one of the world’s best ecosystems to foster the growth of FinTech innovation, it has become one of the leading hubs for driving value creation in the sector. The Summit will reinforce Dubai’s emerging role in shaping the future of the worldwide FinTech landscape. I am confident the inaugural Dubai FinTech Summit will also foster more cross-border collaboration between the public and private sectors, while offering a strong platform for FinTech firms to tap into new growth opportunities.”

The opening keynote at the Summit was delivered by His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor, DIFC, who said: “DIFC has become a major engine of growth for Dubai’s economy and a significant contributor to its GDP. Having grown exponentially over the last 10 years, DIFC now contributes around 6% of Dubai’s GDP. DIFC continues to enhance its ecosystem to further accelerate innovation, testing, investment and growth. Dubai and DIFC have invested heavily in its FinTech ecosystem by creating a supportive and agile regulatory framework, providing access to funding, sand-box environments and resources for start-ups and established companies alike. Furthermore, the Dubai FinTech Summit presents a unique opportunity for collaboration between traditional financial institutions and FinTech firms, especially with rapid AI advancements driving innovation within the sector.”

With Dubai raising its profile as a global business hub, driven by its strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and investor-friendly policies, more and more businesses around the world looking to expand and grow have been gravitating to Dubai to take advantage of opportunities emerging from its diverse economy and support for innovation and excellence. At the heart of Dubai’s thriving business ecosystem is the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), which plays an increasingly key role in leading and shaping the future of finance through innovation, sustainability, and partnerships, and by creating an environment that fosters growth and development. The signing of over 20 MoU agreements at the Dubai FinTech Summit is further testament to the city’s role in driving cross-border collaboration.

Arif Amiri, CEO, DIFC Authority, said: “DIFC’s 2030 strategy is anchored around driving the future of finance through cutting-edge technology, innovation and partnerships. The Dubai FinTech Summit is integral in this and provides a unique platform for start-ups, investors, and industry leaders, representing over 50 countries, to connect and innovate. FinTech is destined to play a significant role in shaping the financial landscape. The sector is expected to double in size from over $135 billion in 2021 to almost $270 billion in 2027. Dubai is well-positioned to lead the way in this exciting and dynamic sector. At DIFC, FinTech and Innovation companies have been a key growth driver over the past three years, contributing over 27% of the Centre’s overall client growth.”

The inaugural Dubai FinTech Summit offers participants the opportunity to attend panel discussions, fireside chats, and share ideas on emerging trends, regulatory frameworks, and future possibilities. Key topics being discussed at the Summit include ‘Building the Economies of the Future’; ‘Crypto and the Evolving Regulatory Framework’; ‘The World of Finance: Where are the Women?; and ‘Building a Resilient and ‘Sustainable Financial Sector in the Age of Disruption’.

The first day of the Summit saw insightful debates on the topics of Start-up and Investment Wealth; Regulation and Policymaking; Embedded and Open Finance; Digital Payments and more.

Day 2 of the Summit promises equally vibrant discussions on the topics of ‘Navigating The New World Order’; ‘How Can Governments And Regulators Be The Innovators?’; ‘Digital Assets And Web 3.0 – How Closely Are The Regulators Following The Innovators?’; and ‘Central Bank Digital Currency: Is This The Future Of Money?’, among others.

Speakers at the Summit include His Excellency Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy; Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered PLC; Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple; Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Bank Singapore; Jenny Johnson, President and CEO of Franklin Templeton and Brian Armstrong, CEO and Co-Founder of Coinbase among others.