In-Depth Analysis of Abu Dhabi and Fintech in 2020 by Richie Santosdiaz for The FinTech Times
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ADGM’s Fintech Abu Dhabi Festival Set To Return With Both Virtual and Onsite Elements

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial centre, has announced the return of its annual festival, Fintech Abu Dhabi, which will be hosted under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

The landmark event will be held from 22 – 24 November 2021 as a hybrid event that combines both virtual and onsite elements. Now in its 5th year, Fintech Abu Dhabi is the MENA region’s leading fintech event, enhancing the UAE’s position as a world-class fintech hub by bringing together various leading players and global stakeholders to discuss ideas and launch progressive initiatives within the fintech ecosystem.

Following a highly successful virtual edition in 2020, Fintech Abu Dhabi returns with a new and exciting hybrid format, offering a combination of virtual and curated in-person sessions. 2021 will also see the introduction of the “Majlis Forum”, a host of invitation-only, private conversations and forums designed to spark debate between public and private sector fintech leaders from around the world. The entirety of Fintech Abu Dhabi’s public sessions will be broadcast digitally, offering delegates the flexibility and choice to attend Fintech Abu Dhabi either in-person, or virtually from anywhere in the world.

Fintech Abu Dhabi 2021 will commence with The Search Global Tour, a hugely popular virtual roadshow which, this year, will visit 35 countries to find and select the world’s best fintechs to join the exclusive Fintech100. Commencing on 2 June and running until early November, this virtual tour will offer attendees the chance to hear from local fintech leaders, government representatives and innovators whilst watching founders of each country’s most exciting early-stage fintech startups pitch their solutions.

Fintech Abu Dhabi will also recognise innovation through the return of its highly successful Innovation Challenge. Here, fintech firms are given the opportunity to present innovative solutions to specific problem statements posed by “Corporate Champions”, drawn from financial institutions, corporations and government agencies, that offer successful participants deployment support. 2021 will also see the addition of exciting new forums, including:

  • Fintech for Good – a sustainability fintech innovation forum
  • CxO21 – a corporate innovation & digital banking forum
  • Token – a digital token forum
  • Risk4.0 – a financial security forum
  • Fintech Souk – a retail & payments forum

“Fintech Abu Dhabi continues to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of the fintech ecosystem in these challenging times, with a hybrid format this year. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of technology adoption, and ADGM, as a global fintech hub and ecosystem enabler, is excited to present this year’s edition of Fintech Abu Dhabi to support innovation in the digital sphere. This event will provide corporate innovators, startups, and investors with a meaningful and impactful opportunity to discuss and collaborate on future fintech policies and regulations. We look forward to welcoming you to this year’s Fintech Abu Dhabi 2021, both in-person or virtually.” said Mr Emmanuel Givanakis, Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM.

Last year’s edition of Fintech Abu Dhabi was successfully held from 24 – 26 November 2020 using a ground-breaking proprietary 3D virtual platform exclusively online, attracting a record 18,500 participants from around the world. The packed three-day agenda featured keynote addresses, panel discussions, and fireside chats led by renowned leaders in the fintech space, wherein they highlighted developments and emergent trends across the fintech sector, including artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technology, open APIs, venture capital, start-up scaling, and regulations.

Key elements of Fintech Abu Dhabi 2020 included the Fintech100, a club of 100 founders and CEOs of the world’s most influential fintechs, where the average funding per start-up was valued at $66million. The fourth edition of the event also hosted the Investor Forum, which welcomed an international gathering of leading venture capital, private equity, and sovereign wealth fund investors. Another attraction was the Government Fintech Forum, which hosted a global audience of ministers, mayors and regulators who were joined by C-level and international innovation leaders from financial institutions and banks. Information regarding the event can be found here.


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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