Overview of Fintech Highlights in The Middle East by Richie Santosdiaz for The FinTech Times
Fintech Middle East & Africa

Overview of Fintech Highlights in The Middle East

There were interesting developments in the fintech and wider tech space during the month of September. The FinTech Times has covered several stories in the Middle East region. Here are other headliners and other developments.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Mohammed Al Beloushi, CEO of Barker and Booth Commercial Agency LLC, leads strategic investment with Israel-based Fintica

Fintica AI is a fintech company based in Israel
Fintica AI is a fintech company based in Israel

UAE-based Mohammed Al Beloushi, CEO of Barker and Booth Commercial Agency LLC, announced a first of its kind strategic investment in Israeli startup Fintica AI Ltd. The move will see the launch of a partnership with the intention of developing Fintica’s capabilities, resources, and market share in the region bringing with it, new technology for the financial sector. Fintica’s disruptive autonomous AI technology gives real-time market analyses, providing asset managers with a unique understanding of vast amounts of data.

Mohammed Al Beloushi said, “It’s our duty to support the visionary leadership of the United Arab Emirates whose underlying desire is to advance global peace with sincerity and persistence. In the words of our respected Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, “Peace requires courage and shaping the future requires knowledge.””

DMCC and China’s Innoway kickstart tech collaboration with matchmaking event

Feryal Ahmadi is the Chief Operating Officer of DMCC
Feryal Ahmadi is the Chief Operating Officer of DMCC IMAGE SOURCE DMCC

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) – a leading Free Zone and Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise – and Innoway – a Chinese platform established by the Beijing and Haidian Government that has successfully incubated over 3,841 start-ups and raised a total of AED 41.8 billion – today held their first virtual matchmaking event to highlight innovation and technology opportunities in Dubai for Chinese entrepreneurs.

Feryal Ahmadi, Chief Operating Officer, DMCC, said: “Innovation is in Dubai’s DNA; it is part of the culture and way of life here and this creates progressive, vibrant and enabling environments for those with potential. As one of the world’s most dynamic cities, Dubai is the perfect setting for Chinese companies looking to expand their operations in the Middle East and beyond. The DMCC-Innoway partnership serves as the launch pad for Chinese start-ups and entrepreneurs seeking to transform the future.”

Tabadul set to streamline bank guarantee services in Saudi Arabia through Wthaq

Tabadul is a leading Saudi Arabia based digital solutions provider
Tabadul is a leading Saudi Arabia based digital solutions provider IMAGE SOURCE PROVIDED

Tabadul, a leading Saudi Arabia based digital solutions provider, is set to further streamline the bank guarantee process in Saudi Arabia through “Wthaq”, the first-of-its-kind digital platform in the Middle East. Launched in May, Wthaq is in line with the Saudi Vision 2030’s digital transformation program, serves all types of bank guarantees, and improve the efficiency of transactions to save time and effort, as well as prevent fraud through verification.

Abdulaziz Al-Shamsi, the CEO of Tabadul, said, “The estimated number of bank guarantees issued annually in the kingdom stands at around 100,000. Wthaq will automate all procedures for issuing and verifying bank guarantees online, along with unifying the standards for issuing the guarantees by banks in the Kingdom.”

TiE Dubai selects 18 startups for mentorship cohort for 2020

The Dubai chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE Dubai) has selected 18 startups for its next cohort for Summer of 2021
The Dubai chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE Dubai) has selected 18 startups for its next cohort for Summer of 2021 IMAGE SOURCE PROVIDED

The Dubai chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE Dubai) has selected 18 startups for its next cohort for Summer of 2021. The mentorship program lasts for 12 months and is an individual agreement between a startup founder and an experienced mentor to help guide the mentee in specific areas that they need guidance with to achieve their business objectives.

This year’s cohort received over 80 applications from across the Middle East and the selection process was conducted digitally, with applications invited online from startups and early-stage businesses from the MENA region.

A list of companies finally selected as mentees for the cohort include: Octoos; Smartdirham FZLLC; Gokaddal Technologies FZCO; Key2enable Assistive Technology; Yovza Technologies; One Moto; Walayem; Kregzo – to name a few.

Ivan Fernandes, head of mentorship at TiE Dubai, said, “The TiE Dubai mentoring program is an important component of the chapter’s activity and is sought after by many in the region. We were very pleased with the caliber of businesses that applied including those from our chapter partners like in5. We are looking forward to helping these select businesses thrive over the next 12 months as the world slowly gets back to business.”

DIFC and Dubai Future Foundation collaborate to make the Emirate a Leading City of the Future

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) reaffirmed its commitment to driving the future of finance by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF). The agreement between the two forward-looking counterparts will advance the innovation agenda within Dubai and engage the financial technology community through scaling and training opportunities.

DIFC’s priorities align with DFF’s mission which is to collectively imagine, inspire and design Dubai’s Future. Financial services sector is the third largest economic activity contributing to Dubai’s GDP today and this is expected to grow in the coming years. DIFC will also be a major part of the Dubai Future District, the region’s largest future economy focused district.

The entities will partner on a combined technology acceleration programme. It will identify and supporting blockchain and AI-driven start-ups from the region, placing them on an aggressive growth trajectory. The move will aid the execution of the Dubai 10X vision, which enables the Government of Dubai to be 10 years ahead of all other cities by embracing disruptive innovation.

Israel’s innovative technology company SURE Universal Ltd partners with UAE Firm HBK Department of Projects to launch HBKiCare

His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan is the Chairman of HBK DoP
His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan is the Chairman of HBK DoP IMAGE SOURCE PROVIDED

The partnership is the first product launch cooperation in the UAE between an Israeli technology company and an Emirati company after the normalisation of the relationship between Israel and the UAE. This announcement completes a significant milestone for the promotion of healthcare technology and innovation between the two countries.

His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Chairman of HBK DoP said: “In line with the vision of the UAE and it’s leaders we realised the importance of adopting technology innovations in key sectors such as health, agriculture, mining, energy, water, and telecom, duly supported by our own blockchain technology platforms under HBK GoChain that specialises in the supply chain, e-government, Central Bank Digital Currencies, payments and financial services. HBKiCare is a universal remote healthcare solution made easy that is comprehensive, flexible and secure.”

Abu Dhabi Global Market commences public consultation on proposed Electronic Transactions Regulations

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) announced that it has published a public consultation paper on its proposed Electronic Transactions Regulations aiming at putting parties engaging in electronic transactions at ease in terms of degree of certainty.

While businesses and consumers are adapting to electronic dealings, including online contracting and electronic signatures, legal concepts have traditionally been based on the existence of a tangible or physical medium. Concepts such as a document, an ‘original’ or a ‘signature’ still remain relevant in legislation and need to be considered in today’s ever-changing digital environment, particularly when taking into consideration the impact of COVID-19.

Dhaher Bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of the ADGM Registration Authority, said: “These proposed regulations demonstrate ADGM’s continued commitment to building a strong and sustainable International Financial Centre that promotes business growth of, and certainty for, our stakeholders in today’s digital economy. We are confident that the implementation of the proposed Electronic Transactions Regulations will provide a strong framework for e-Commerce and electronic dealings within the ADGM community, in line with international best practice. With digital transformation on an accelerated pathway, we will continue in our tireless endeavours to develop a world-leading regulatory framework that supports the needs of stakeholders, accelerates innovation, and upholds the highest global standards and best practice.”

News from Bahrain

Bahrain had several noticeable news headlines
Bahrain had several noticeable news headlines IMAGE SOURCE GETTY

BENEFIT Rolls Out Contactless Payment Through BenefitPay in the Kingdom Of Bahrain

Finally, two interesting headliners that were not covered in The FinTech Times. First, BENEFIT, Bahrain’s electronic financial transactions services, announced the official launch of Tap & Go, which is a new contactless payment method for BenefitPay users, enabling them to make digital purchases at POS machines using their Android smartphone.

Supreme Council for Women, Bahrain Fintech Bay publish (gender balance in financial technology) report

Second, the latest Bahrain FinTech Bay Bahrain FinTech Gender Balance report – the first of its kind in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – is testament to changing attitudes across a region traditionally perceived to be more socially conservative than most, according to the Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB) website.

 

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