Four Fintech Tradeshows and Events in The Middle East and Africa by Richie Santosdiaz for The FinTech Times
Fintech Middle East & Africa Trending

Four Fintech Tradeshows and Events in The Middle East and Africa

The FinTech Times highlights four trade shows and conferences that  mostly went virtual this past November. From Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Istanbul in Turkey to Lagos in Nigeria – here is a summary of four major ones.


Seamless Middle East returned for its 20th year on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th November as the world of payments, fintech, retail and e-commerce adapt to the ‘new normal’, focusing on key themes such as cashless initiatives and the exponential growth of e-commerce. The conference and exhibition is dedicated to helping businesses capitalise on new business opportunities accelerated by the pandemic. It was held both physically at Dubai’s World Trade Centre (WTC) and virtually – unique as much of the world at present due to COVID-19 have still remained virtual.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Lieutenant-General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Interior, and in partnership with the Dubai Free Zone Council and Dubai Economy, Seamless Middle East brought industry leaders at a time when it is needed most.

Seamless Middle East General Manager, Joseph Ridley, commented, “Seamless Middle East is proud to lead the way for B2B events in the region and will run following the strictest health and safety guidelines. Whilst it will be different this year, we are grateful and excited to receive such fantastic support from both our government partners and the business community.”


Nigeria Fintech Week went virtual from Monday, 2nd through Friday, 6th November 2020.

The weeklong event would feature 20-product pitches/launches, 10-keynotes, 15-panels/presentations, 70+ speakers, 2000+ attendees, would promote solutions for health, education, agriculture and advance insights around customer experience, digital skills, future of fintech, blockchain amongst others.

Partners included Ecobank, Zenith Bank, Infobip, Access Bank, 9mobile, Bank of Industries, Soft Alliance, Providus Bank, Odu’a Investment Company Ltd, BitLoad4u, AELEX, NCC, Coinnewsextra, InfoWARE, Binance, Monetary Authority of Singapore – amongst others.


Istanbul Fintech Week 2020 (IFW) was held online in the week of 9-13 November this year due to COVID-19. At its first edition in 2019, IFW hosted 148 international speakers from 30 countries and more than 1200 people that gathered at Vodafone Park Beşiktaş Stadium. This time, IFW 2020 Online took its global knowledge exchange in an ever-changing financial services industry to a 5-day run of discussion panels and pitches from 9th to 13th of November 2020. Accordingly, IFW 2020 Online hosted 5 special summits: Payments Summit (9 November), Blockchain Fest (10 November), Digital Banking Summit (11 November), Insurtech Summit & Startup Day (12 November) and AI in Finance Summit (13 November).

Istanbul Fintech Week remains to be a hotspot in developing the financial technology and innovation ecosystem in the region thanks to participating experts and leaders from both local and global markets. The IFW 2020 Online served to facilitate understanding opportunities and challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic in the financial services industry. Towards 5 days of varying topics of fintech discussion, practitioners from various sub-sectors discussed the current status and future outlook of the financial innovation services. The event aimed and welcomed more than 80 speakers from 30 countries.


The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) will jointly host and organise the fourth annual FinTech Abu Dhabi Festival (FinTech Abu Dhabi), powered by Unbound, which will be held from 24 to 26 November 2020. Fintech Abu Dhabi will bring over 150 international speakers, over 27 hours of immersive fintech content and 10 global fintech unicorns.

As CBUAE continues to play a critical role in shaping the future of financial services and innovations in the UAE, the FinTech Abu Dhabi partnership between CBUAE and ADGM reinforces the ongoing national focus and efforts in the financial sector and further accelerates the introduction of financial innovations and related technologies to better serve the UAE and the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

His Excellency Abdulhamid Saeed, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, said, “We are pleased to collaborate with ADGM to co-host FinTech Abu Dhabi 2020. ADGM’s goals are in line with the Central Bank of the UAE efforts solidifying our position as the regulatory body responsible for promoting healthy development of the financial services sector and market behaviour.”

Other notable events have happened across the Middle East and Africa (MEA), such as the Africa Fintech Summit amongst many other high-profile events. The FinTech Times was a media partner with all four of the trade shows and conferences highlighted above.



  • Executive Economic Development Advisor (Emerging Markets) | Contributor

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