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Collaboration Between DIFC And DIEDC Set To Launch Islamic FinTech Initiatives

Date 12/07/2017

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading financial hub in the $7.4 trillion Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), as part of its commitment to Islamic finance under the DIFC 2024 Strategy and in line with the vision of ‘Dubai: The Capital of Islamic Economy’.

FinTech Hive at DIFC, launched earlier this year, contributes to Dubai’s efforts to become the global hub of Islamic FinTech by providing a platform that brings financial firms and technology companies together in one collaborative, disruptive innovation supply chain.  The 12-week accelerator programme allows tech start-ups to test and develop FinTech related business ideas and solutions in collaboration with senior executives from renowned financial institutions.

As part of the agreement, the programme will include institutions such as Emirates Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, to mentor participants in the field of Islamic finance technology. In addition, the entity will host an event for the finalists, offering insight into the role of Islamic finance, and the impact of technology on this sector, as part of Dubai and the wider region’s broader economic development.

Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority said: “With the global Muslim population expected to grow by 73% between 2010 and 2050, there will undoubtedly be a subsequent increase in the demand for Islamic Finance services both in the region and beyond. We are continuously investing in our world-class ecosystem at DIFC and that includes an infrastructure that is compliant and in line with best practice for Islamic Finance institutions. FinTech Hive at DIFC is committed to revolutionising financial technologies across all core sub-sectors, and Islamic Finance is no exception. This MoU is an important and progressive step for FinTech, for the Islamic economy and for FinTech Hive at DIFC.”

For his part, Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer of DIEDC, said: “According to the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2016, commissioned by the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, Islamic finance assets valued at around US$2 trillion, are projected to reach US$3.5 trillion by 2021. However, within the maturing Islamic economy landscape, several segments still need to be tapped. These include mobile banking and payment systems, as well as SME financing. We are confident the FinTech Hive at DIFC will go a long way towards developing these high-potential segments, and are committed to supporting the accelerator programme to guarantee its success.”