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DIFC: Why Regulation is Essential for Fintech Success

As the fintech industry grows, it presents both opportunities and challenges for regulators. In the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, regulators have taken proactive steps to create an enabling environment for the industry.

Arif Amiri, CEO of Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFC) outlines its commitment to creating an enabling framework that fosters technological and business model innovation.

Arif Amiri
Arif Amiri. CEO, DIFC

The global fintech market is expected to reach $949billion by 2030, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.2 per cent between 2022 and 2030, as per a report by Grand View Research.

The fintech sector in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is mirroring the global growth trajectory, having received funding worth $925million through 131 deals in 2022 – with the UAE in pole position accounting for 37 per cent of total funding in the MENA region.

Enabling environment

This burgeoning growth of the fintech industry has created opportunities as well as challenges for regulators across economies. In the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia in particular, regulators have taken proactive steps to create an enabling environment for the industry by combining regulatory frameworks and innovation initiatives.

Regulatory authorities have actively fostered policy changes to help the more than 680 fintech companies operating out of the DIFC (which reportedly make up 60 per cent of all fintech companies within the GCC) set up base and grow in the region.

Through the DIFC and its independent regulator, the DFSA, the Centre has brought to the fore proactive policy regulations, leading to increased interest from fintehcs in Asia-Pacific and South-East Asian markets. The DIFC Metaverse Platform’s development also focuses on accelerating Dubai’s aspirations in the fintech sector by building trust in the space and securing fintechs.

Building trust

In the last year alone, DIFC based fintech and innovation companies have raised $650million of funding, with a vast majority from venture capital companies, corporate investors, and private investors. This is the kind of trust and market confidence that DIFC has built. Sustaining this requires a lot of effort.

Globally, there has been steps to regulate the cryptocurrency and decentralised finance space to usher in greater security, stability, and efficiency. At DIFC, we are committed to creating an enabling framework to foster the kind of technological and business model innovation required to expand financial access and improve the quality of financial services in the country.

Experimentation is key to regulatory progress, and the DIFC is committed to two-way consultation to enable innovation to flourish.

Regulation and other emerging trends in the world of finance and fintech, which will take centre stage at the Dubai FinTech Summit later this year. At the Summit, DIFC aims to bring together global fintech experts and technology innovators to a curated audience to discuss all things fintech taking place on 8 to 9 May 2023 at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.

Dubai FinTech Summit will also dive into the latest challenges and technology trends in Dubai’s financial services sector.


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