Fintech Updates Between Dubai and Abu Dhabi Collaborations with Israel by Richie Santosdiaz for The FinTech Times
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Fintech Updates Between Dubai and Abu Dhabi Collaborations with Israel

The United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s two principle financial centres, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), have formed strong partnerships following the Abraham Accords.

The FinTech Times wrote an extensive original editorial talking about the relationship and fintech between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain titled Fintech, Financial Services and Wider Digitalisation Opportunities Between Israel, UAE and Bahrain. Since that was written, here are recent news headlines that have happened between Israel and specifically DIFC and ADGM.

Dubai International Financial Centre is the main financial centre in Dubai
Dubai International Financial Centre is the main financial centre in Dubai IMAGE SOURCE PROVIDED

First, DIFC has entered into an agreement with Bank Hapoalim, one of Israel’s largest banks and founded in 1921 and publicly-traded and listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). Both entities will benefit from a wide range of mutually beneficial opportunities.

The agreement will enable DIFC to further support the UAE facilitate economic growth from the finance and innovation sectors. Additionally, it supports the DIFC vision to drive the future of finance from Dubai. Bank Hapoalim will become part of DIFC’s global network of banks, financial centres, regulators and companies that are disrupting the financial and technology sectors and embracing the highest legal, regulatory and operating standards.

The alliance marks a step towards Bank Hapoalim establishing its first regional presence outside Israel to access banking and innovation opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA). Both parties recognise the importance of working together by sharing knowledge, hosting delegations and promoting industry events. Investment and FinTech specialists from Bank Hapoalim will be invited to participate in exclusive events such as the forthcoming DIFC FinTech Hive Investor Day.

Commenting on the agreement, Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority said, “DIFC, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia’s leading financial centre is pleased to welcome Bank Hapoalim as a global partner. Our partnership provides Bank Hapoalim with access to the most developed, broad and deep financial ecosystem in the region, allowing them to capitalise on the most lucrative banking, capital markets, asset management, innovation and FinTech opportunities available. We hope this agreement will provide us with a unique Dubai-Israel opportunity to accelerate our future of finance agenda and stimulate innovation with Bank Hapoalim through the DIFC Innovation Hub.”

Dov Kotler, CEO of Bank Hapoalim, said, “The agreement signed with Dubai International Financial Centre is an important milestone. We hope to serve, extend and strengthen the financial relationship between our two countries. It will enable Israeli FinTech entrepreneurs a gateway to the dynamic and vibrant Dubai ecosystem, and help foster cross border innovation, the corner stone of the Abraham Accords which were signed only a few months ago. It is an honor to be the first Israeli bank to construct this important bridge for innovation.”

Abu Dhabi Global Market is the main financial centre of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Global Market is the main financial centre of Abu Dhabi IMAGE SOURCE PROVIDED

In addition, Bank Hapoalim and ADGM entered a new partnership with signing an MOU to jointly promote and develop fintech innovation, ecosystems, and market opportunities that will support the digital transformation of the financial services landscape and connect the economies in the UAE and Israel.

As part of the MOU, ADGM and Bank Hapoalim will collaborate on a range of FinTech-related initiatives and innovation projects, including the development of FinTech solutions to facilitate international trade, business and financial services activities between the UAE and Israel, as well as the support of FinTech companies and entrepreneurs seeking to scale their presence and deployment across the UAE and Israeli markets.

Dhaher bin Dhaher Al AlMheiri, CEO of the ADGM Registration Authority, said, “We are pleased to embark on a new era in the Middle East region to enable greater business and FinTech developments and foster beneficial technology collaborations and participation among ADGM, Abu Dhabi and Israel. ADGM is continuously working with strategic partners, locally and internationally, to further the Abu Dhabi and UAE’s economic plans and technology agenda, and we are excited to partner with Bank Hapoalim to advance the banking and financial services in both jurisdictions. ADGM will continue to collaborate with strategic industry leaders and introduce new initiatives that will effectively cater to the needs of the financial services community”.

Kotler from Bank Hapoalim comments on the MOU with ADGM by saying, “The agreement signed this morning with Abu Dhabi Global Market is a breakthrough pact that we hope will serve to extend and strengthen the financial corporation between the UAE and Israel. It will enable FinTech companies, customers of Bank Hapoalim, access to a new world of opportunities. It is a great honour to be the first bank to sign such an agreement that will contribute to the establishment of the relationship between our two countries and economies.

Seperately, The ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority (ADGM FSRA) and the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) have entered into a fintech cooperation agreement, marking a significant first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and representing an important step forward in promoting the region as a connected and collaborative environment for fintech to thrive in.

It provides a framework for information sharing, and for facilitating the movement of start-ups, knowledge, and talent between the two jurisdictions.

With this new partnership, the ADGM FSRA and the ISA will undertake initiatives to promote economic growth in financial services through the adoption of new technology and the strengthening of their respective fintech sectors.

Richard Teng, Chief Executive Officer of the ADGM FSRA, said, “Following the signature of the historic Abraham Accords, we are excited to enter this FinTech Cooperation Agreement with the ISA. From our close discussions with the Israel Securities Authority, in particular during the FinTech Abu Dhabi Festival, it is clear that both authorities value the importance of collaboration and mutual support. I look forward to working closely with our partner to bring forward a more connected, collaborative network to meet the demands of our growing FinTech ecosystem.”

The agreement will allow for the exchange of information on trends, services and products, as well as facilitate the collaborative development of FinTech initiatives between the ADGM FSRA and the ISA. Both jurisdictions will also engage in professional knowledge transfer activities, accelerator programmes and the promotion of the development of relevant technologies, such as digital payments and blockchain, which are fundamental elements to the growth of the FinTech sector.

The agreement will also afford fintech start-ups the ability to access information from the respective jurisdictions through one common point of contact.

As an International Financial Centre and FinTech hub, ADGM has reached significant milestones and established strategic partnerships to bolster the regional FinTech ecosystem, supporting the safe development of FinTech both regionally and globally. ADGM recently celebrated its five-year anniversary.

Abu Dhabi as a whole, which has a growing fintech ecosystem, has recently played host to the fourth annual Fintech Abu Dhabi, held this year from the 24-26th November.


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