World-shaking news has been the hallmark of Dubai as a centre for international business circles for quite some years now.
Besides the Emirate’s claim to fame of owning the tallest, largest and most expensive asset-investments, ventures and landmarks, Dubai has now emerged with yet another first-time initiative – ‘Islamic Fintech’.
The leading international financial hub that commands a $7.4 trillion market covering Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA Region), Dubai’s International Financial Centre (DIFC), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with Dubai Islamic Development Centre (DIEDC), for a new thrust into this world’s first Fintech space of its kind.
Conceived as part of the overall vision of DIFC 2024 Strategy, the commitment to this Islamic Fintech is another step towards achieving the mission – ‘Dubai: The Capital of Islamic Economy’.
The dream project doesn’t end there. The creators of the FinTech Hive at DIFC, launched earlier this year, have a vision of becoming a 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 program 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 program 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.
Islamic finance assets valued at around US$2 trillion, are projected to reach US$3.5 trillion by 2019. 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.
The FinTech Hive at DIFC will power the thrust into these high-potential segments and with its support of accelerator program, positive end-results will be guaranteed.
For those who join the bandwagon to be mentored, a final event will be DIFC, where much deeper insight programs shall be hosted to offer insight into Islamic Financing and the impact of technology in this sector.
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”.
Needless to add, this MoU is an important and progressive step for FinTech, for the Islamic economy and for FinTech Hive at DIFC.