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Arabian Business, Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 | Muharram 18, 1441

How Dubai's DIFC compares globally for fintech potential

Emirates: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has been named the seventh best fintech location globally, highlighting Dubai’s efforts to support sustainable economic growth.

Dubai is the only financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region to appear in the top 10 fintech Locations of the Future 2019/20 for Economic Potential index by fDi Intelligence - the Financial Times.

London topped the list, followed by Singapore and Belfast. 

The DIFC welcomed the inaugural report which recognises the enormous potential of fintech to ignite economies and deliver sustainable financial sector growth.

The report highlights DIFC's regulatory and legal framework, ease of doing business, representation of leading world banks and talent pool as key factors influencing the top 10 ranking.

The index further cements the global status of Dubai as a leading fintech capital following DIFC’s ranking as a top 10 hub by Financial Times Group’s The Banker.

Arif Amiri, CEO, DIFC Authority, said: “We welcome the continued recognition of Dubai as an international hub for fintech and innovation. This ranking further enhances Dubai’s global standing and asserts the DIFC’s reputation and capabilities as one of the world’s most advanced financial centres, reinforcing our position as one of the world’s leading fintech ecosystems.

"Innovation and financial technology are key drivers in our strategy to become the world’s pivotal centre for sector disruption. The DIFC is leading financial sector transformation, supporting the advancement of the UAE economy, whilst developing a dynamic digital infrastructure in the new fintech landscape, which allows innovation to thrive. Dubai’s ranking as a top ten fintech location of economic potential further demonstrates the strong promise of the destination for growth.”  

DIFC has already seen a marked increase in the number of firms that make up its fintech ecosystem, which more than doubled in size from over 80 to 200 companies during the first six months of 2019.

Similarly, the number of licensed fintech firms operating in the DIFC increased from 35 to more than 80 in the first half of this year.

Key international fintech firms that have made Dubai their MEASA base include Dublin-based software company Fenergo, InsurTech leaders Charles Taylor and Swedish crowdfunding platform, FundedByMe.

DIFC has also worked to increase access to funding by engaging and building its venture capital ecosystem, as well as investing directly into promising fintech start-ups.

In March, it announced the appointment of Middle East Venture Partners and Wamda Capital to manage $10 million of its dedicated $100 million fintech fund.

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