Spotlight MEA
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Spotlight Middle East and Africa: In Conversation Live From Dubai Series Part Six of Seven

This special Spotlight Middle East and Africa (MEA) series will reflect on conversations from the recent Seamless Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that was held on the 29th and 30th September, 2021. This is part six of seven. 

Economic development advisor Richie Santosdiaz spoke with various organisations throughout the Seamless Middle East show, which was a first for The Fintech Times. Stay tuned during the upcoming Spotlight MEAs by The Fintech Times to watch more from the following companies. In this series First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and Western Union are featured.

FAB: Watch full interview with Gavin Payne from First Abu Dhabi Bank below:

According to its website, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) is the UAE’s largest bank and one of the world’s largest and safest institutions. FAB offers an extensive ra FAB offers an extensive range of tailor-made solutions, and products and services, to provide a customised experience. Through its strategic offerings, it looks to meet the banking needs of customers across the world via its market-leading Corporate and Investment Banking and Personal Banking franchises.

WESTERN UNION: Watch Full Interview with Hatem Sleiman from Western Union:

The Western Union Company is a global leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments. Western Union’s platform provides seamless cross-border flows and its leading global financial network bridges more than 200 countries and territories and over 130 currencies. We connect businesses, financial institutions, governments, and consumers through one of the world’s widest reaching networks, accessing billions of bank accounts, millions of digital wallets and cards, and more than 550,000 retail locations. Western Union connects the world to bring boundless possibilities within reach.

As the head of Western Union in the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Hatem Sleiman’s responsibilities range from driving top-line revenue growth and bottom-line profit to overseeing business development, service delivery, compliance, and regulatory outreach in the region. In addition, he also tracks key cultural and geopolitical trends connected to the movement of money and enabling money movement digitally – via mobile phone, to an account, or to a mobile wallet, across borders and currencies. With over 30 years of executive experience in the engineering and financial services industries, coupled with a deep understanding of cross-border payments, settlement, compliance and financial regulations across top global markets, Hatem has established a reputation in the region as a respected and distinguished leader of industry.

Hatem’s journey with Western Union began in 2003 when he joined the Dubai office taking on the role of Regional Operations Manager. He made an immediate impact, and after a few short yet successful years, accepted the role of Regional Vice President in 2009. It has been under his guidance and leadership that Western Union has evolved in the region, becoming a recognized brand and an innovative leader in the payment industry. During his tenure, Hatem has pioneered the launch of several new markets, both mature and sensitive, while delivering positive business turnarounds across the board. Beyond growing the retail network in the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Hatem has successfully expanded Western Union’s digital capabilities through payment gateways and electronic Know-Your-Customer processes, while growing successful partnerships across the region with major financial institutions.

Seamless returned for its 21st year this year. This was the first show The Fintech Times physically took part in at MEA and was pleased have recorded video interviews and presenting these special edition Spotlight MEAs. To follow the rest stay tuned here.


  • Executive Economic Development Advisor (Emerging Markets) | Contributor

  • Head of Digital production

  • 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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