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UK-Based Events Company to Deliver Festival in UAE

Unbound Innovations, a global festival organiser, has announced that it has been selected by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to deliver its annual FinTech Abu Dhabi festival. The move highlights ethical questions relating the increased necessity of British companies forming partnerships in nations whose human rights records are questionable.

Unbound will be working closely with ADGM, to deliver all aspects of FinTech Abu Dhabi 2019. ADGM’s ambition is to make FinTech Abu Dhabi the leading FinTech festival in the MENA region and one of the largest in the world. However, there is a thinly veiled dark side to the flourishing gulf state as Human Rights Watch notes;

“The UAE maintains their leading role in the Saudi-led military coalition, which has conducted scores of unlawful attacks in Yemen. The UAE was implicated in detainee abuse at home and abroad.” 

The three-day event will be held over 21 – 23 October 2019 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and aims to attract more than 5,000 participants from around the world. 

The centrepiece of this program will be a regional and global roadshow to recruit the best 50 FinTech startups to help solve innovation challenges in Abu Dhabi and the region. It remains to be seen if these innovation challenges include issues like freedom of speech or rights of migrant workers in a nation where significant “labour abuses persist.”

“The UAE maintains their leading role in the Saudi-led military coalition, which has conducted scores of unlawful attacks in Yemen. The UAE was implicated in detainee abuse at home and abroad.” 

Daniel Seal, Founder and CEO of Unbound, said:

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to support ADGM, and to bring Unbound’s expertise at building innovation ecosystems, and world-class large-scale innovation festivals, to the UAE.

“We share ADGM’s vision to grow FinTech Abu Dhabi to become one of the world’s leading FinTech festivals and to bring together founders, entrepreneurs, banks, financial institutions and other corporates, investors, national and international government representatives as well as the local academic community to help build a regional FinTech hub in Abu Dhabi.” 

Ahmed Al Hashimi, Corporate Communications Director of ADGM, said:

“ADGM is pleased to be working with Unbound this year as we scale our FinTech Abu Dhabi event to become a truly global platform.  ADGM remains commitment to being an enabler and trusted partner of the FinTech ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and the UAE, and to support the needs of businesses so that they can set up, thrive and expand.”

Partnerships such as this one are commonplace and set to become more so in the coming years and months, especially after the UK leaves the European Union. When TFT asked Unbound whether, post-Brexit, fintechs will become reliant on partnerships in countries whose human rights records are poor, reply there came none…

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