Event Analysis Fintech Middle East & Africa

Middle East Banking Innovation Summit Explored Fintech and Digital Transformation 

The 10th Annual Middle East Banking Innovation Summit took place recently for two full days of panels and keynote presentations exploring the world of banking technology and digital transformation. Held on the 1st and 2nd of March at Le Méridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre, the event brought together the biggest and most influential figures in the banking and fintech industry to share their expertise.

The Summit opened with a fireside chat between Naveed Minhas, Digital Platforms Executive, and Philip King, Global Head of Retail Banking at ADIB as they discussed how banks can improve their balance sheet through driving customer acquisition. Next up, Sudhakar Nibhanupudi from the National Bank of Kuwait joined virtually to speak on data management and effective analytics for innovation. This keynote was followed up with Sidhant Sachdev, from Platinum Sponsor, Tanla. Sidhant gave an overview of blockchain and how to ensure customer experiences are formed on trust and finished up with an engaging Q&A with the delegates.

Rounding out the morning, Carole Elias of ProgressSoft spoke on the new face of banking and finally a lively panel session discussing the role of CIOs in the dynamic, ever-changing banking world. Moderated by Naveed Minhas, the speakers for this session were Noman Rasheed of Dubai Islamic Bank, Dr Joseph George of the National Bank of Fujairah PJSC, Ghinwah Baradhi of HSBC Middle East and Yuri Misnik of First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Returning after a coffee break, delegates were treated to another panel discussion featuring Sid Bhatia from Dataiku, Ahmed Alrefaei from Arab Bank for Investment & Foreign Trade, Sri Lakshmi from First Abu Dhabi Bank and Alok Gupta from HSBC. Speaking about data monetisation and why it’s more than just a revenue stream, it was a lively session with plenty of audience questions.

Following the panel, Matthijs Eijpe from Backbase and Yaser Alsharifi from National Bank of Bahrain took delegates through the power of digital sales. Ahmed Khidhir from Temenos then took the stage to share predictions for the next 5 years in digital banking before welcoming yet another panel. Sumanta Roy from Tata Consultancy, Dr Bhaskar Dasgupta from Abu Dhabi Global Market, Stefan Kimmel from Commercial Bank of Dubai and Vikas Sethi from Gulf International Bank came together to discuss open banking and the business models to facilitate it. This was followed up by Emir Kalem from Infobip as he shared some valuable insights into chatbot technology, and finally an overview of NPL Technology from Tamás Erni, CEO of Loxon Solutions.

Day two kicked off with a fireside chat between Digital Platforms Executive Naveed Minhas, Paolo Barbesino from Emirates NBD and Yuri Misnik from First Abu Dhabi Bank as they discussed digital transformation in the banking sector. This was followed by a virtual keynote on edge computing from Remi Pouchucq of Schneider Electric and a virtual panel discussion on the 21st Century CMO, featuring Abdulmohsen Almulhem of Bank Albilad, Marya Al Shams of HSBC Oman, Asim Kidwai of Boubyan Bank Kuwait and moderator Sarah Cocker.

Following this, another panel on embracing disruption featuring Tareq Qamhiy of Injazat, Aditya Baswan of First Abu Dhabi Bank, Pamela Attebery of HSBC Middle East, Devid Jegerson of National Bank of Fujairah, Jameel Khan of Mashreq Bank and Vikram Sandhu of Emirates NBD.

After a short coffee break, delegates reconvened for a presentation on artificial intelligence and its role in finance delivered by Prashant Menon of First Abu Dhabi Bank. Gabriela Ghencea of Route Mobile was up next, speaking on intelligent banking and conversational AI. Louis Potgieter from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation spoke on IT business partnerships, followed by Syed Riyazuddin from Emirates NBD who discussed the role of people at the heart of digital transformation


  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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