Gulf Fintech: Region Embraces Change
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Gulf Fintech: Region Embraces Change

June 22, 2023 | Report

Dubai is serious about becoming a regional leader in fintech, hosting over 100 regional companies at the Dubai Fintech Summit in May. The event covered key themes, from new technologies transforming banking to various business model innovations in financial services. 

Insights for What's Ahead

  • Dubai is shaping up to be a fintech hub for companies seeking to be players in this space by developing the right ecosystem for exploration and market development. Its focus is on getting regulation right and capitalizing on its solid infrastructure, relatively business-friendly environment, and strong talent pool in the region.
  • Success will require a deep commitment and willingness to experiment and explore a wide variety of technologies and business models. While there are many short-term wins in the fintech space, it is critical for participants to have a long view. The full potential of new technologies will blossom after years of investment, the buildup of scale, and development of new business models. In some cases, success will require accepting that the dominance of established players may be eroded.
  • Banks in the Gulf region are at risk of underestimating the intensity of the fintech disruption and misunderstanding it as a simple extension of digital and mobile banking. Banks in the region have often struggled to integrate seamless digital and mobile banking into their traditional banking models. The fintech revolution underway threatens to overturn these models and could catch traditional banks unprepared.



Former Senior Economist
The Conference Board


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