Insights Middle East & Africa Thought Leadership

Unlocking Future Finance: Exclusive Insights from DFS Dialogues for Dubai FinTech Summit 2024

DFS dialogues are exclusive strategic conversations that take place in private invite-only gatherings in the run-up to the Dubai FinTech Summit, participated by industry experts, C-suite leaders from banks, financial services and insurance firms, fintechs, investors, policymakers and media.

These gatherings are focused on exploring diverse perspectives on industry challenges and brainstorming ideas to develop actionable insights that will shape the overall direction for the main event, the Dubai FinTech Summit.

Mohammad Alblooshi CEO DIFC
Mohammad Alblooshi, CEO, DIFC Innovation Hub

Mohammad Alblooshi, CEO of innovation community DIFC Innovation Hub, opened the event, speaking to the invitees and thinking of the summit in 2023; he said: “Last year, we did a good job. But we’ve not even scratched the surface. We have to do so much more collectively, and that’s why we wanted to facilitate this gathering today, which brings participants from the banking community, the fintech community, the regulators, as well, as the tech industry to tell us what you think could happen, what should be discussed, what are some of the trends that you’re seeing, and what you would you like to see as well as a participant?

“This is for the community, the fintech community of Dubai, everyone who is involved in shaping the future of finance for the city of Dubai.”

Darius Alexander, head of technology and fintech in MENA for business consultancy FTI Consulting, was tasked with moderating the conversation with 30+ very senior individuals within the banking, regulatory, fintech, and professional services sectors. The conversation started by diving into the regulatory framework, a key topic for the summit this year; it wasn’t long before the conversation moved to the expected area of AI.

Abdallah Abu-Sheikh, the founder and CEO of technology group Astra Tech, raised a very interesting point, saying: “AI is in the same cycle as apps and blockchain was previously; where everyone is building an ALM, in two to three years this will become an operating system of sorts.”

Digital assets

As the conversation moved forward, the area of digital assets was raised. Mahendra Kasula from First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) raised the need to continue developing a framework for this new asset class. Before the first half of the session concluded, Andrew Mortimer, the country manager and chief operating officer for Barclays in the Middle East, raised an interesting discussion thread around the adoption of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and if this development would offer confidence in other forms of digital assets.

After the break, the conversation continued, and the discussion focused on Embedded finance; we heard from Hassan Mahbub, director of fintech for Talabat, on the importance of payment service providers (PSPs) who facilitate embedded finance.

The conclusion of the event confirmed the key themes to be further explored and referenced at the summit to be, including regulatory framework, embedded / open finance, investment, AI, Web3, ESG as well as sustainability and macroeconomics.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE and President of DIFC, the Dubai FinTech Summit returns for its highly anticipated second edition on 6 to 7 May 2024. Register here now!

Summit at a glance

8000+ C-suite leaders
1000+ pre-qualified investors
300+ speakers
200+ fintech exhibitors
100+ countries
Five stages

There will be two days of dynamic discussions, keynote addresses, panel sessions, as well as one-to-one networking sessions that delve into the latest fintech trends, regulatory insights, and innovative technologies. There is also the opportunity to connect with leaders, network with peers, and explore opportunities that will drive businesses forward.


  • Editorial Director of the The Fintech Times

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